BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The fate of a large mural depicting a Baltimore pop culture icon is up in the air.
The mural itself is an image of the famous drag queen Divine, who was featured in several of famed Baltimore director John Waters’ films.
The mural is three-stories, with Divine not so subtly tucked into the alley off East Preston Street in Midtown Baltimore.
“We thought it was a really compelling message about her pride and her legacy and we thought it was an amazing symbol of what the LGBT community had achieved within Baltimore,” said Jesse Salazar.
Jesse Salazar and his husband had the mural commissioned by Baltimore-based artist Gaia to not only send a message but as a nod to the famed drag queen.
“We thought it would be a really great tribute to Divine,” Salazar said.
The text above on the mural, “I’m so beautiful,” was taken from her 1980s single.
Divine also was featured in several of famous Baltimore film director John Waters’ films- who himself took photos with the mural.
So, when word spread that the mural might have to come down because the couple failed to get the right permits from the City’s Commission For Historical and Architectural Preservation, aka CHAP, they immediately took action.
“We had a conversation with the team at CHAP and they have been helpful they were able to get the process, the paperwork submitted that day,” Salazar said.
WJZ did reach out to the board’s executive director, who did not return our request for comment, but tells our media partner the Baltimore Sun the board doesn’t exist to review the content of the artwork, but more so that the change respects the historic architecture and character of the neighborhood.
That’s something Salazar says he and his husband have done.
“We’ve been really heartened that so many people in the community have come out in support. I have not heard a single negative word about this mural,” Salazar said.