Whenever a mural goes away, I remove it from its map. Then I move it into this archive, preserving it for history. Tabs on this page indicate years. I list vanished street art by the year it went away. There is often a significant time lag between when a mural actually disappears and when I find out about it. Sometimes I can’t determine a mural’s actual year of disappearance. So, I list the mural according to the year that I find out about its disappearance. Please go to the Maps page of this website to see all of Atlanta’s current murals.
Street Art is temporary by its very nature. There are many reasons why murals disappear. Sometimes the owner repaints the entire building. Street art is often painted on abandoned buildings eventually scheduled for demolition. Graffiti tags are also a huge problem in urban areas. I am told that taggers feel entitled to deface a mural if they don’t like either the artwork, or the artist. Taggers also feel entitled to deface a mural if it is painted over one of their tags.
A new mural may be painted over the old mural. In fact it is common for a mural sponsoring organization to maintain one wall and repaint it with new murals on a regular basis. An example of a wall where murals rotate regularly is the Stacks Squares Mural Project. Walls are valuable property. Sometimes a building owner will use a wall formerly hosting a mural for an advertisement.
Determining whether or not a mural still exists isn’t always straightforward. What if a property owner builds a fence that obscures a mural, but the mural is still there? I remove it from the map (because nobody can see it), but I don’t put it in the archive (because it is still there). How badly does a mural have to be tagged before I consider it destroyed and move it to the archive? If you can still see the bulk of the mural despite the tags, I keep it as an active mural. In short, the decision whether or not to retire a mural to the archive is made on a case-by-case basis.