Graffiti 'toys' hit portrait of Parkland shooting victim in Wynwood

Vandal damages 'We Demand Change Through Voting' mural

By Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

WYNWOOD, Fla. - In the world of graffiti, a "toy" is a clumsy writer who lacks experience and "toying" is the disrespectful act of writing over someone else's art work. Joaquin Oliver would have known that. He loved contemporary art and hip-hop culture. 

The Andy Warhol and Banksy admirer was 17 years old when he died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland last year. His love of graffiti inspired his grieving father, Manuel Oliver, to use the art form to express his sorrow. 

In July, several parents of the victims were in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood for the unveiling of the "We Demand Change Through Voting" mural on the corner of 23rd Street and First Place. The mural depicts the scene of a protest.

"We are sad. We are angry," Manuel Oliver said at the unveiling. "But we are together and we are going to keep up this fight for the rest of our lives." 

The mural has a series of black and white stencil portraits. It includes a sign demanding to "End Gun Violence" and a portrait of Joaquin. On Friday morning, neighbors discovered a "toy" was out "toying" with red and yellow paint and defaced Joaquin's image with horns and tags. 

The owner of the building, former Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine, was outraged. He remembers Manuel Oliver helped to create the mural last year, and he said he was "very sad" when he learned of the vandalism on Friday. 

Wynwood residents, regulars and local artists were outraged. Maria Aviles said it was "just wrong" and Oscar Glottman, an architect and artist who has a business on Second Avenue, said "there should be a sense of respect." Rick Lovera agrees. 

"It has a lot of meaning and that is dishonor," Lovera said. "You can't do that!"

Artist Jetzabel Leon cleaned it up on Friday afternoon. It won’t erase what happened, but it shows that the community cares. Manuel Oliver was grateful for the artist and said that after losing his son in the massacre it takes a lot to offend him. 

"For me to be offended, requires a lot," he said. 

Leon, who restored the mural, has a message for the "toy."

"Enjoy someone else's art, embrace it," Leon said, "instead of ruining it, go make your own."

Related social media:


Some Warhol and some me

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Boss up

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thanks you everyone for the birthday wishes much love❀️❀️

A post shared by Joaquin Oliver (@slump_guac) on


boys night

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Con #manueloliver @changetheref @ #muraldelahermandad #changetheref #changetheworld #humanrights

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#neverforgetyourvalentine #manueloliver painting #joaquinoliver #purposedrivenlife #marjoriestoneman #anniversary

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Mindful Monday’s @artbasel 2018 ... #WeDemand It’s Revealing Day For The Mural I Painted This Weekend In Dedication To The Victims Of Parkland MSD High School Shooting To Raise Awareness For The Fight To End Gun Violence A Powerful Design & Message Created By #manueloliver That I Had The Honor Of Painting @urbanolife For @changetheref & @mayorlevine Produced By @upartstudio For @bigwallsbigdreams #jaymackmuzik #streetart #upartstudio #bigwallsbigdreams #changetheref #artaboveall #instaart #wynwoodwalls #miami #muralist #lincoln #jimihendrix #malcolmx #jimmorrison #joaquinoliver #emmagonzalez @ Wynwood #muralmonday #ogm #gwb #bethechange #beaware #airbnbexperience #artbaselmiami #airbnbhost #hiddengem #bittenbyfashion #hiddengem

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Heading Back to School, Youth Demand Gun Law Reform On Sept. 9, the activist group Change the Ref, which aims to give young people the tools they need to create change, held a roving Fashion Week Back to School event to show off a collection of schoolchildren’s apparel, including bullet-proof vests. Full story and more photos on our website #linkinbio Story and photos by @donnaaceto @changetheref @fashion_week @prayfordouglas @nyfashionweek @susansarandon @marchforourlives @lifecampinc #manhattanexpress #timessquare #backtoschool #guncontrol #guncontrolnow #parklandfl #parklandflorida #protest #kidsnotguns #education #joaquinoliver #diein #chelsea #tribeca #chelseamarket #manueloliver #uppermanhattan #upperwestside #uws #fashionweek #fashionweeknyc #nycfashionweek #nycfashion #wedemandchange #wedemandachange #roadtochange #blacklivesmatter #marchforourlives #msdstrong

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