“Girl Looking through Ruins” is one of the mosaic mural panels at the BART/MUNI Powell Street Station created from 1992-95 by Brian, one of Larkin Street’s clients.
“Girl Looking through Ruins” became the face, literally, of “Putting the Pieces Together,” the 96 panel mural installation facing the MUNI Station. It was a popular panel as it was being made because Brian was a charismatic and empathetic young man who inspired a light heart in tough times.
As a writer with a philosophical side, Brian’s perceptions as an African-American youth on his own were always tinged with a sense of gravitas for the challenges ahead. His interpretation of the panel was as of a child looking ahead into the future – a positive outlook from a positive-thinking client of Larkin Street Youth Services.
Brian, who conceived of and worked on the panel design, was also a musician, playing primarily bass guitar and was in a punk rock band. Strongly influenced by Japanese Manga art, the image of a young girl is a representation of a street youth, looking through a broken wall to the other side, the side of the viewer. She is a survivor and a person who walks in two worlds: the broken one that we see but don’t know, and the one that she knows but wishes to change where she is in it.
“Putting the Pieces Together”, was inspired by the metaphoric nature of the mosaic construction process and also Brian’s use of many various materials that showed the image of a wall coming down as “Girl Looking through Ruins” was coming together in a state of change.
Next time you’re in the Powell BART/MUNI station, take some time to view these amazing mosaics, October 2015 is the 20th anniversary of their installation.
Submitted by Peter Carpou, Mosaic Mural Project Director, Larkin Street