The Ocean Chateau, an apartment building at 44 Alboni Place in Long Beach, California just got a makeover. The mural artist Cryptik was invited to participate in 'Pow! Wow! Long Beach', a citywide initiative where over a dozen artists were asked to apply new designs to walls across the city; he chose to cover the facade of the 1946 structure with ancient symbols. Although the gold and silver embellishments fit in pretty seamlessly, Cryptik drew a blank when he first saw a photograph of the building; it was only after a few days that he decided to highlight its architectural features.
'The original building had a bit of an art deco vibe to it, but the columns reminded me of a Greek, Egyptian or Islamic temple, so that's really where the inspiration came from,' he explains.
The artist and a team of volunteers spent seven days painting the mural on the apartment building – a new experience given that he's generally more accustomed to working with flat surfaces.
The subsequent work – nicknamed the 'Alboni Temple' – is both striking and elegant, and certainly hard to miss; Cryptik – who also has a mural up at the Long Beach Museum of Art – says he hopes that everyone will feel a connection with it. 'The idea was to incorporate design motifs and patterns from many different parts of the world, creating a space that welcomes people of all faiths, customs and cultures,' he says.
That’s precisely what Julia Huang, the president of interTrend Communications and one of the directors of 'Pow! Wow! Long Beach', hopes the event will do for the city. ''Pow! Wow! Long Beach',' she says, 'introduces Long Beach to the world and brings the world to Long Beach.'