Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Duke of Berle

In the Pantheon of abandoned commercial spaces, the former site of the Berle Manufacturing company rates high on the stunning index. There is more parking here than in all of the metered spaces in the City of Charleston. One could, some have had sports car racing events here.

This place may be found just past Signal Point Road on the right hand side of Folly Road heading toward the beach.

The structures on his property are disused except for the space on the south end of the complex. It's been a very popular French restaurant and a smoky bar for boozers who live near the edge of the edge of America. It is some sort of chicken wing place now. Otherwise, the abject vacancy of the place is breathtaking. The Olympics could be held within this buildings and with no blocking of internet access.

How often we've passed this place and duly noted the scope of its oddness, but paid no attention to what might be found BEHIND the buildings. We figured that little more than empty liquor bottles, spent safety socks, needles and such might be there for the taking. Little did we know. Using a tip from an unnamed source, we eased around to the back of the building and saw what you see in the photos above.

These murals are clearly signed outdoor artwork and not criminal graffiti which we neither abide nor promote. The artist seems to go by the name of "Sheep head," a breed of fish to our book. We doubt that he's exhibited in any of the upscale northeastern galleries yet. Maybe these paintings are designed to drive off trespassers by sheer dint of fear. Whatever the commission, we were quite taken with this stuff.

Now if this quality of artwork could be painted on the front in what might be a more commercially instructive message, the parking spots might begin filling up. This fellow may not be king of the outdoor artists, but he is certainly the Duke of Berle.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this a few days ago. I had NO idea there was anything to speak of behind this "shopping center". Whoda thunk it?! Thanks for the wonderful photos!

12:52 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

We'd a' never thunk it either. Only due to the tip from a confidential informant did we make this wild discovery. Thanks for your comment and please feel free to tip us off to other visual wonders.

11:13 AM  
Blogger chucker said...

So on my way to Folly yesterday, I pulled behind Berle's and had to avoid two cars coming out.

As I cruised along slowly, admiring the artistry, 4 more vehicles drove by slowly, going the other way.

The word is out.

Thanks for the heads up.

Oh, one face on a wall has been marred by a graffiti "artist."

Those who can't do...deface.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Thanks for your comment, Chucker, we're glad that you got to see that impressive artwork in person. Yes, it's a shame that some element in every community has to deface the work and property of others. Perhaps that's as close as such people ever get to things of beauty or possessions worth having.

1:21 PM  

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