Following the victory of the YES vote last week, Marsh unveiled his latest masterpiece on the back wall of the Botany View Hotel – a mural depicting Tony Abbott and Cardinal Pell getting married, complete with penis straws and tribal tattoos. Unfortunately, it was only a few hours before the mural was targeted by critics who just couldn’t handle Marsh’s latest piece of visual commentary – while the pub was flooded with threatening phone calls and 1-star reviews on Facebook, which were eventually drowned out by a bigger wave of 5-star reviews.
Soon after, they turned their attention to Marsh’s other artwork, the St. George mural in Erskenville, which depicted late legend George Michael in angelic fashion. The iconic artwork, which was seen by thousands on their daily train commute through the Inner-West, was covered with graffiti and later painted over. On Monday, a 23-year-old man was issued with a court attendance notice over a charge of graffiti. Now, a 16-year-old has also been charged over damaging the mural, charged with two counts of graffiti and possessing graffiti implement. He will appear at a Children’s Court in January.
‘Saint George’ was painted almost a year ago as a tribute to the property owners lost mate George Michael. It is on the main train lines heading south through Sydney and thousands of people see it each day on their daily commutes. It has a become a shrine visited by George Michael fans from around Australia and the world, leaving flowers cards and candles at the foot of the wall when they come to mourn and remember George. It made international headlines when it was painted and was a feature in its own float in this years @sydneymardigras , televised across Australia and the world. So why now is it being attacked under the guise of religion?? ? I feel terrible and I’m so sorry to all the locals who have had to endure the intimidation and bullshit during the past nights attacks ? It is completely surreal to see images and hear stories of groups of men, religious fanatics, travelling into these communities to intimidate locals & forcefully remove their public artwork. Its sad really sad… so much for free speach and freedom of expression in Australia… Thanks so much for the dozens of messages of support i have received! Ill write back to them all today. ?? ✌?? The murals now beyond repair, time to let the dust settle. But i can promise you George will be back bigger and better than (and with a graffiti proof coating ??) ? #georgemichael #innerwest #freedomofspeech #saintgeorge #publicart #censorship #patronsaintofthegays
Marsh’s two Inner-West murals have become a battleground of sorts since the SSM vote was announced last week, earning plenty of praise and backlash from both sides of the debate. Since being defaced, the murals have now attracted messages of love, written defiantly over the damage caused to St. George.
Marsh has since promised that “George will be back bigger and better… with a graffiti proof coating.” We’ll have to see what happens to the men charged in the incident that has sparked another nationwide debate.