Valentine's Day mural by John Pugh, 29 Palms, California

Mural #16 - Valentine's Day

Artist: John Pugh of Los Gatos, CA
Dedicated: October 25, 2000
Size: 16’ x 60’
Location: 6308 Adobe Road

This trompe l’oeil mural tells a story about an artist who fell asleep while painting a mural. As the artist dreams about his subject, Cattle Days in Hidden Valley, in what is now Joshua Tree National Park, a rodeo bull named Valentine is metamorphosed into reality next to the scaffolding. Named for the white heart shape on his head, Valentine also bears the McHaney gang brand, as if he traveled out of the historical scene in the mural. Waiting for the artist to awake, along with a patient vulture, Valentine will soon have his day.

The mural was created by art illusionist John Pugh, who is world famous for his trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) murals. The finished product was a surprise to the Action 29 Palms mural organizers, who were expecting a fully-completed historical mural. In spite of initial confusion about the “unfinished” mural and a few complaints by curious locals, it quickly became one of the most photographed murals in Twentynine Palms.

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