At over 6,000 square feet, it towers over the eastern section of Detroit’s Russell industrial district and serves as an iconic symbol of the city’s ups and downs. The mural, which features an image of a tiger and the text ‘Rise Up,’ reveals a constant symbol of hope and strength that the city can identify with as it moves into a new era of change and regrowth.
“I hoped to convey the energy and momentum of self-empowerment and moving forward,” MEGGS explains regarding this milestone in his mural career. “The tiger is a symbol that all Detroiters relate to and feel proud ownership of – it’s a symbol that’s born from Detroit’s glory days and one that survived its unfortunate downfall.” MEGGS also expresses his respect for Detroit graffiti, “It was great to be able to share this wall with three local Detroit heavy hitters – props to Tead, Elmer, and Rawr.”
The ‘Rise Up’ mural, which concludes MEGGS’ five-week residency and solo gallery exhibition with Inner State Gallery and 1XRUN, was created as his homage to the city of Detroit. “It was my way of giving back to a city that had welcomed me, inspired me, and allowed me to take from it to create my own artwork and experience,” he says. Aside from being his largest public piece of artwork, MEGGS’ eclipses his previous works with new textural techniques and intricate details to reference the multi-faceted landscape of Detroit.
Ironically, the mural commenced a week after Mayor Mike Duggan announced a controversial crackdown on graffiti, forcing the city to fine numerous business owners who had actually commissioned artists to paint murals on their buildings. MEGGS faced logistical hurdles and numerous encounters with police and city workers, but the response was overwhelmingly positive and he was allowed to proceed and complete the largest wall in his street art career.