Peoria Artist’s Cookie Monster Mural Enrages Building’s Owner
How in the world could a mural of Cookie Monster upset someone, you ask? Well, when it gets painted onto a building without asking the building's owner if it's okay.
Joshua Hawkins, owner of HawkinsArtWorks, has an interesting tale to tell about how a Cookie Monster mural was commissioned and then created in Peoria.
He says that a guy named "Nate" got in touch with him and asked him to paint a mural of the famous muppet with a caption in Russian that roughly translates to “World, Peace, Cookies” on the side of his vacant building. The only problem, as Josh would find out later, was the fact that Nate doesn't own the building he wanted used as a canvas.
Take a look:
Well...Josh did a great job with a very weird concept. Although I must confess that it looks more like Cookie Monster is destroying a Russian city with a rainbow-colored, handheld cookie death-ray than it does a pitch for world peace.
Another weird aspect of this story is that Josh considered turning down the commission because the timeline for completion was pretty small--but the commission money for the job was "one of the best paying commissions" that Josh had ever received. He was promised half the money down, with the rest to follow upon completion. So, he grabbed some friends and got the mural done within the agreed-upon timeframe.
You can probably guess what happened next. If you guessed that a furious building owner demanded to know what the hell was going on, you nailed it.
The building's owner, a guy named Nate Comte, got back from a Thanksgiving trip, saw what had happened to his property, and pretty much flipped out. When the owner threatened to call the cops on Josh, Josh attempted to explain how it all went down. The owner, Mr. Comte, didn't buy it, saying that he didn't think anyone would be that stupid.
Then he had this done:
The Cookie Monster mural is no more. Although Mr. Comte painted over the mural (which he considered to be graffiti), he says he's not going to press charges. He also wants people to know that he doesn't hate art, but he doesn't know what the hell that mural was.
Hey Josh, Rockford has lots of murals painted around the city. Come on up here where you'll be appreciated!