Watch CBS News

Philadelphia Muralist Creating Rooftop Art, Hopes To Spread Positivity

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia is known for its murals, but one local artist is creating large pieces of roof art and they're not even meant to be seen by everyone.

Cesar Viveros' passion is painting murals. He says the bigger the mural, the better he feels.

You've likely seen some of his work, including a mural commissioned by the World Meeting of Families for the Pope's 2015 visit to Philadelphia. "That was a great experience," Viveros recalled.

Judge Sentences Owners Of Popular Pizza Chain Manco & Manco

Now, the renowned muralists is painting for a different perspective.

"I'm happy with the directions that we normally face everyday, north, south, east, west, but when you start looking through other directions, either high or above or to the ground, it's a different feeling."

Viveros has created a mural of Frida Kahlo grasping barbed wire. "Frida Kahlo, moving around the world with her art, it would be a metaphor of immigrants coming to the United States."

It is crafted four stories up on a Kensington rooftop. Only a few people know it even exists.

"You don't have to put your art in front of the people, where they have to see it even if they don't want to," Viveros said. "You can have totally freedom doing this kind of art."

However, semi-private sky art like this could soon become more public. "The paint that we use is very good. It's suppose to keep its color for 20 years," said Cathy Harris, the director of community murals for the Mural Arts Program. She says that there is always room for more projects.

"This just opens us up to a whole new way of working and way of thinking about what we can do," Harris said.

"I wanted the roof to become a sign of positive force," Viveros said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.