Artist asked to paint over 'Pop for President' mural outside SA business after customer complains


SAN ANTONIO – A local artist was asked to paint over part of his "Pop for President" mural outside of a San Antonio business after customer complaints.

Albert Gonzales, co-owner of the Southtown Art Gallery, said he started the Spurs inspired mural outside of Carmelitas Mexican Restaurant at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

As he painted, he said people drove by giving honks of approval and that some even stopped to photograph his progress and chat with him.

He said he was about finished with the mural early Wednesday when he noticed someone staring at his art with a scowl.

Gonzales said he engaged the man and asked how his day was going, to which the man replied "it was going good until I saw this." Gonzales said the customer went into the restaurant and left after sharing his opinion on the mural with restaurant staff.

"A lot of people were loving it," Gonzales said. "There were some people that didn't like the 'Pop for president' idea but still complimented me on the image in general."

Shortly after the angry customer left, Gonzales said the restaurant owner asked him to paint over the "Pop for President" message, but leave the rest of the mural as is. Gonzales said he understands the restaurant's decision to have him paint over "Pop for President," but was saddened that his work was short-lived.

Gonzales said he first got the idea for the mural after San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich began frequently sharing his thoughts on President Donald Trump.

In September, Popovich said the U.S. was "an embarrassment to the world" while blasting President Trump.

In October, Popovich called up Dave Zirin of the Nation and spoke his mind about President Trump.

"We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day," Popovich told Zirin.

When Gonzales first went to meet with the restaurant owner about a mural, he shared his Pop for President idea and got the green light.

Despite having to remove the "Pop for President" message, Gonzales said he's been contacted by other businesses who want a "Pop for President" mural painted at their business.

So, San Antonio might get a "Pop for President" wall after all.