Muckraker: Well-Known Local Artist Defaces Vincent Chin Mural On Grand River

August 18, 2014, 10:47 AM

Andrew Piscane, the original Detroit artist, posts this Facebook photo of the damage in progress.

For the first time since the Grand River Creative Corridor project launched three years ago, several murals -- including the one of Vincent Chin -- have been vandalized in the past week, Steve Neavling reports on Motor City Muckraker.

Neavling writes:

The man who defaced the Chin mural is Sintex, a popular, confrontational Detroit artist who buffed the wall Thursday and began painting his own mural at the bewilderment of local artists, Asian Americans and others who had admired the memorial.

On Facebook, Sintex told [the original artist]: “The people in the community hated your piece bro.”

Also vandalized last week were smaller paintings, a sign for an affiliated art gallery and a large new mural by another Baltimore artist with the message: “FROM ASHES WE RISE.”

Chin was a Chinese-American man who was beaten to death after a confrontation inside a Highland Park strip club with two other men in 1982. His death resulted in a national outcry over racism toward Asian Americans and demands for justice for Chin.

Sintex responds Monday morning on Facebook to the Muckraker coverage and headline:

Steve Neavling remove the article title i deface the mural. fuck you lies bro i will be sending you a cease and desist order from my lawyer shortly ... prepared to be sued for slander. 

In an earlier post on his Facebook page, original mural painter Andrew Pisscane of Baltimore, who signs his work as Gaia, says in part: 

Some serious issues arise in moments like these. As of late murals have been replacing a lot of traditional legal and illegal graffiti spots. The final result being art pieces that actually speak to the public versus communication that is closed. . . .

Buffing the memory of Vincent Chin is a misplaced critique on the murals that are clashing with graffiti. Instead it comes off as a gesture against the Asian community of michigan.

Finally there is question of whether it is ethical to come as an outsider and paint about a locale, and whose permission you must seek in order to do so. In this instance local artists are unfairly pitted against international artists. . . . I'll be back to fix this one day.

Here's an excerpt from Sixtex's response to Pisacane's post, with punctuation changed for readability:

It was a dope mural. . . . You don't understand what u painted i don't think.

The people in the community hated your piece bro. Not to be harsh or rude just being honest.. It had no connection with the people. Plus you were not supposed to paint there.

PHOTO: Creation of the Chin mural from

Related coverage at Deadline Detroit:

Behind Chin Mural Fight: Does 'No Fly Zone' Cover Wall Art As Well As Rap?

Read more:  Motor City Muckraker

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