Any Wynwood visitor who has rounded the corner of Joey's and walked west on 25th Street over the past many few months could not have helped noticing a rather massive seaside scene, not to mention an apparently possessed man wielding a paint brush. That scene is called "Beach." And the man with brush-in-hand is named Thomas Kachian. Nobody asked Kachian if Wynwood needed a seaside. But everybody is quite happy that he's decided to provide one. This Second Saturday night we get to see Kachian's completed creation.
What inspired you to take your paint to the streets? I was inspired by my studies of artists who do large undertakings, such Diego Rivera and Paul Gauguin. I recently turned fifty and wanted to do something In hopes I had something to say, something that, at least in my view. would be extraordinary. Often I drove by the amazing murals seen throughout Wynwood and fantasized about being able to do something so grand. I then had a catharsis of sorts and made arrangements to actually make it happen. I called every realtor on every sign on every possible and potential wall space until I found Kohn Realtors, who were very supportive of the idea and gave me the 80' x 11' wall in which to work it out.
Meet any interesting folks out there? At the beginning I painted during the day but I eventually progressed to working at night, because of both the comfort level with my surroundings and the heat. I pretty much know all the neighborhood characters -- good and not so good. I usually carry change to disperse to those in need and I try to take time to talk to the people whose space I have intruded upon. In all I have found people are essentiall the same when treated with respect and dignity.
You must have seen and heard all kinds of stories? I have indeed. The private security company employed to police Wynwood (Buena Vista) and and I have become well-acquinated, so I hear what goes on and who's doing what. It becomes a soap opera of sorts. Ultimately though I think my being out in the street the middle of the street in a warehouse district with only my brushes to defend myself has added and is instrumental to my mural.
What are you gonna do now that 25th Street won't be a part of your day-to-day? Right now I have no idea. I am running on fumes as I work to complete the mural for this Saturday's art crawl.
How much time do you think you spent on this mural anyway? It's my fifth month out here. I've spent well over a thousand dollars and given hundreds and hundreds of hours. I think it may be an addiction. There is something special about being the only one on a deserted street accompanied by nothing but stray cats, the moon and a desire to create.
Thomas Kachian's "Beach" is located at 240 NW 25th Street in Wynwood. You can't miss it. And you shouldn't.