Better than: Anything that's ever happened at your house.
Lots of people have art in their homes. Many of them have art outside of them too. But few have murals like the one Shane Watt painted on the back of Andie Sweetswirl's house in Fort Lauderdale.
After two months of planning, drawing and painting, Sweetswirl, a longtime booker, DJ, and show promoter in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, turned the mural's unveiling into "Myland: A Mural Exhibition" and invited South Florida into her home. Literally.
The free Saturday night gathering featured more art from Watt, and pieces from TONX, TJ Brown, Thatiana Reid, and Jen Locane, live art by Paul McEnery, and performances by Suede Dudes, Rebel, and Orlando's Wet Nurse. Chipotle also gave away tacos, flipping on its ear the free beer often found at similar house parties. Those that wish they could be as ambitious and far-reaching as Myland.
Sweetswirl bought the house two years ago, constructing a gazebo and fire pit, and planting gardens around the backyard. The house was beige at the start, and two outside walls were painted blue until the desire for more hit Sweetswirl.
Watt and Sweetswirl started talking during an event at Rollingstock graffiti gallery in Fort lauderdale that included several of his pieces and his first mural, and she half-jokingly said he should come paint her house.
"Why would you have a blank wall and not want something to be on it," Sweetswirl said as her yard started to fill with people on Saturday night. "He was like, 'sure, cool. I have to leave in a few days, but I'll come back in a year and do it."
Unassuming, friendly, and shockingly genuine, not only about his art but the crowd he seems to have easily fallen in with over several years of visiting the South Florida, Watt spent the night speaking with most of the 100 or more people who came and went during the course of the six-hour event.
The piece took about two months from conception to completion, even though he thinks it could have been done in a much shorter period of time. But fleshing out the plethora of references and ideas in the piece seems to have done it well.