This mural by Nosego is called Miss Harriet, at 1229 Central Avenue.
It’s a startling closeup of a peacock’s head and shoulders, 35 feet wide and 11 feet high. The mural faces east on this small one-story building. The peacock’s crowned head is enormous, with one huge staring eye looking back over its shoulder. The eye is framed by a wavy white line above, and one below. It’s startling how realistic the eye is. It seems to protrude from the wall, glinting in the light and glaring fiercely.
The peacock’s head takes up the left-hand side. His round green and blue head is spiked with long white feathers that reach toward the top of the wall. But instead of cascading in an arc behind his head, like normal peacocks, these feathers stretch straight up, and are gathered at the top.
For male peacocks in the wild, these long crown feathers are studded with tufts of green or blue. But this peacock’s crown feathers are held together by an actual gold crown suspended high above his skull. These crown feathers bulge in the middle like a birdcage. A graceful black bird has broken several of the feathers and is flying away to the right, like a bird escaping from a cage.
The peacock’s shoulder takes up the right half of the mural, draped in folds of cream-colored cloth decorated with red roses and green leaves. The peacock’s head, long green-blue neck and one folded light green wing curve against a sky blue background, with a deep blue shadow at the bottom, cast by his head and neck. His feathers are textured, in blues and greens, and echo the colors of the Earth from space.
And revealed under the rose-patterned cloth is not the peacock’s chest, but a glimpse of outer space with red and blue clouds of dust and glowing stars. The brightest star, almost a sun, is ringed by lacy bands of gold against a sea of distant stars. What might be a comet flashes above. And an actual outdoor light fixture is mounted on the wall against the starry sky.
In the upper right corner of the mural, just above the rose-patterned cloth, is a pale green full moon, difficult to notice against the pale blue background.
Nosego, or Yi Goodwin, is based in Philadelphia. He uses brush and rollers to create images in huge dimensions, and often portrays animals in movement, and in vibrant color. He explains, “They flow, they move, they weave, they come to life on my walls.”
For this mural, Nosego references Maya Angelou’s memoir, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, as the smaller black bird breaks out of its cage. The roses on the cloth are a celebration, and a memorial.
Across the street to your left is another mural, an enormous young girl with a sleeping dog, by Evoca.