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‘My murals are like tombstones’

Tristan Eaton with his mural between Darby and Railways streets. Picture: Simone De PeakTRISTAN Eaton has spent more than half his life spray-painting murals on walls and buildings all over the world.
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But the renowned Los Angeles-based street artist still wrestles with the words to appropriately explain the impact of his work.

‘‘It’s a complex experience, both valuable and powerful, and relies heavily on context,’’ Eaton says.

A mural in desolate downtown Detroit, where Eaton developed his craft, can have a dramatic influence on people’s outlook while his work at Cooks Hill, entitled Starlet Mirage and completed on Thursday night as part of the Hit The Bricks festival, can turn a dull canvas into a welcome space.

While he struggles to put into words his audience experience, Eaton has a better idea of what his work provides him.

‘‘Over the last 15 years or so I’ve had a very hectic art life … I’ve done lots of different things, but mural work is very zen for me because I’m just focused on one thing all day,’’ Eaton told the Newcastle Herald.

‘‘But in a bigger picture sense, I kind of feel like all the giant murals I paint are kind of like tombstones, ultimately in the long run. After I’m dead and gone they will still be there and that is kind of a cool thing to me.

‘‘That feeds the ego of your mortality, I guess that’s a good way to put it, you know, because it does make you feel better about leaving your mark in the world.’’

Eaton employs free-hand spray paint techniques and visually his murals are a collage of images and ideas.

‘‘Over the years I’ve developed many different styles that I like to work in, all of which feel very much like my personal style,’’ he said.

‘‘So a few years back I started kind of collaging them all together, so that I could represent each different part of me in one mural.’’

Eaton’s mural is located in the carpark between Darby Street and Railway Street.

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