About the Work
Located in downtown Austin at the historic Seaholm Power Plant-turned-mixed use development, Rex Hamilton’s botanical mural stands out among its Art Deco-inspired concrete surroundings. In operation from 1948-1989, the power plant is an icon of Austin’s skyline, and has recently been re-developed into a shopping, dining and business center, dotted with millennial techies by day and an array of fitness junkies enjoying its proximity to the Lady Bird Lake hike and bike trail.
In among the contemporary concrete, you’ll find Hamilton’s vibrant garden. Painted on one of the development’s tenant maps, the mural feels almost lifelike in its celebration of the color and variation found in Central Texas landscapes. Yucca and prickly pear cactus co-mingle with colorful spider lilies, vines and bright greenery.
Hamilton, an Austin-native, explained that the mural’s location has always been a nostalgic place for him. “I’d always see [the Seaholm Power Plant] while walking Town Lake with my parents and the font on the power plant sign made the place seem like something out of a comic book.”
Today, Hamilton gets to add his own unique perspective to the contemporary setting with this lively-yet-calming piece. He shared that the mural was originally inspired by the plant life surrounding the wall. “We had this idea of kind of having it draped in foliage. And I really wanted to convey a sense of flowers with less information. The focus is the form of the flowers and the color.”
Visitors can also catch a glimpse of Hamilton's other creations around the city at locations like the new Music Lane development and the Lamar underpass (near Sadé Lawson's It's Okay to Not Be Okay). “My dream is to see art on every inch of this earth. I make art that reflects the beauty in the world... I choose to paint the beauty in the world to make our realities more colorful and harmonious,” he said.
As a native Austinite and working artist, he recognizes the weight that his unique perspective holds in the community. “I think it’s a really great place to be a full time artist. It’s a city that supports its creatives, and we’re getting a lot more opportunities to do murals - they’re everywhere, you’ll see them in the most interesting of spots,” he said.
Check out the mural in person at Seaholm Power Plant, near 800 W. Cesar Chavez St.
About The Artist
Austin native Rex Sterling Hamilton lives to be inspired. He believes that color is divine and can alter the way people see and perceive the world. His work is influenced by surrealism, impressionism, post-impressionism, neo-expressionism and pop culture.
“My philosophy in life revolves around creation and love. My dream is to see art on every inch of this earth. I make art that reflects the beauty in the world; I empathize for those who suffer, but I don't feel it's my creative purpose to depict suffering in my art. I believe that what we give our focused energy to will persist. I choose to paint the beauty in the world to make our realities more colorful and harmonious."