Photo by Krystal Ramirez

Spray Away the Pain

Maybe it’s the holidays or maybe it’s a response to the extra-hateful rhetoric these days, but a couple of artists recently brought a little humanity to the streets of Downtown. While airbrush artist and body painter Gear Duran was creating a massive Standing Rock–inspired mural in the Arts District, Las Vegas artist Jerry Misko agreed to help out a friend who was dealing with some graffiti in Fremont East.

The temporary obstruction wall hiding the construction of the new Eureka! restaurant on the ground floor of the Emergency Arts building had been tagged multiple times with eggplant emoji-esque symbols. Misko has known the building’s owners, the Epstein family, who also own El Cortez, for more than 10 years. He offered to paint a mural on the surface as a way to stop the dick bandits. After the graffiti repeatedly appeared, the Epsteins agreed.


Photo by Krystal Ramirez

Now, after around 50 hours of work, it is impossible to not notice Misko’s psychedelic splatter auras underneath international street artist Fafi’s bright pastel Fly Girl–inspired work, making the south side of Emergency Arts look like a full-blown, three-hit acid trip.

This piece is the second time Misko, who typically uses acrylics, has used cans of spray paint. He says that in the past, he didn’t like to use cans because of color control—you can’t mix the paints—but with the number of colors available now he enjoys working with the medium.

Unfortunately, this is not a tale where taggers learn the moral of the story, it magically snows on Christmas Day, and we all live happily ever after. Soon after Misko’s work was completed, the piece was tagged again—this time with the name of a local band, which had played music on the streets next to the artist while he was working. Luckily, Misko was able to cover it up right away and the vandals apologized. How does the saying go? Oh, yeah: This is why we can’t have nice things, guys.

You can, however, purchase work similar to the mural, as Misko is offering an edition of 21 diptych companion prints—each set going for either $80 or $60 with a new, unwrapped toy. The artist will give the donations (or $20 from each $80 sale) to a holiday drive put on by Polly Weinstein and her Tower of Jewels store, which benefits the local Casa de Luz church. For a print, email

Vegas Seven