Mural- Dos Alas

Murals of East Harlem

East Harlem/El Barrio is home to a great number of murals that build on a long tradition in Latin American art, wherein residents may express themselves and tell their stories. Protecting these significant cultural symbols has become a great challenge, but an important endeavor, in a rapidly changing neighborhood.


East 105th Street between Second and Third Avenues
Ricanstruction Netwerks and Puerto Rico Collective
1999


Dos Alas, or “two wings,” was intentionally created without permission to honor Cuban independence fighter Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Puerto Rican nationalist Don Pedro Albizu Campos. The “Dos Alas” stanza, which appears on the mural, is from a poem by “Lola” Rodriguez de Tio. The painting is the only remaining piece in a series of ten radical al fresco artworks that celebrated Puerto Rican/Nuyorican and Latin American political identity and served as statements against gentrification. The others have fallen victim to new development. Due to weathering and vandalism, the mural was restored in 2011 with the property owner’s permission as part of a community-based effort that drew well-known Puerto Rican artists from all over the city. The mural has become iconic due to its heavily trafficked location.

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