John Pugh had recently worked on another mural entitled “Revolution” in Ottawa, Illinois. This mural depicts women of the ‘Roaring Twenties’, 100 years ago. Greeted by flapper girls Frannie, Cat, and Gaby, the giant revolving walls open into the world’s tallest speakeasy.
Adorning the top rotating wall is a painted rendition of a ‘Poppy’ by Georgia O’Keeffe (circa 1927). Recognized as the “Mother of American modernism”, O’Keeffe was emblematic of the modern woman. Inside the windows are the Radium Girls (Ottawa 1920s). These sweet women are pointing brushes with their lips and painting glow-in-the-dark clock dials, unaware that the radium paint sentenced many of them to a lingering radioactive death. This is a mural about women, and was painted by mostly women artists.
John Pugh is a world-renowned trompe l’oeil artist. He has engaged and captivated the public with large-scale mural projects in spaces across the world, including San Francisco, Miami, and New York, as well as Taiwan, Mexico, and New Zealand. His “trick of the eye” murals cleverly fool the viewer into seeing a modern facade’s broken wall revealing Greek columns or a woman reading in a cafe. But Pugh’s paintings also capture the imagination and engage the mind.
Check out below for more photos and detail shots of the mural.