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Rising to the top

Many people think of New York City as a showcase for flashy advertisements, but people use the New York City canvas for more than merely selling goods and services. As seen from this mural in SoHo, artists use the concrete jungle to express ideals, beliefs, and passions.

This mural immediately captured my focus because I was drawn in by bright colors, contrasting with ordinary, bland colors of the wall in the background. The mural denotes a strong, confident woman as seen in her pose and sharp, distinct facial features. Amidst the woman are colors, shapes, patterns, and symbols of all variety. Perhaps the most recognizable images in the mural are the images of the infamous primate, King Kong and the snippet of the Brooklyn Bridge.

When looking at all aspects of the mural—the woman, the colors, images, and patterns—overdetermination is definitely to be expected. That is to say, this mural could have several connotative meanings. To me, the mural signifies a rise to the top. The mural is full of upwards movement from the growing flowers blooming up toward the sky, from King Kong starting at the bottom of the mural and fighting all the way up to the woman’s elbow, and from the woman herself rising above all. She rises above all images of New York, above all the chaos of different colors and patterns, and most importantly, she rises above the words “Big City of Dreams.” This mural aims to give people hope; it can be done.


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