Mickey Rourke, 2009

62 x 150 inches
pigment print on paper

A large scale photograph made in July of 2009 showing a gray painted cement wall on the last underpass of the 2 freeway as it enters the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Underneath the gray paint is a photorealistic mural by Ruben Soto titled I Know Who I Am from 1990 depicting the actor Mickey Rourke in a boxing stance. The mural was painted over in December of  2008 (after the release of Rourke’s career reviving film, The Wrestler) to deter the constant graffiti tags that this location has long attracted; leaving only the two bas-relief wrapped fists that remain at the bottom center to indicate the mural’s obscured presence. By terracing three usually separate modes of signification, Mickey Rourke diagrams the continued insistence on empiricism that has dogged photography’s development.