Throughout the Stormrunners dog mural controversy surrounding the mural’s vandalism, speculation arose about the vandal and disputes between artists. Many rumors spread online, but the most common one focused on who the original artist of the mural is and whether or not he’d been paid. Stormrunners entered a contract with RSK Murals, headed by Alex Clawson. Clawson and his team of five artists worked together to paint the mural. This included Justin Perry, the alleged original artist. While Perry has not publicly spoken about the incident, he has since been let go of RSK Murals.
Many of the rumors claim that Clawson did not properly pay Perry for his work.
Stormrunners Thoughts on Vandalized Dog Mural
While the incident happened at Stormrunners, their involvement is minimal. Dave Burton, the managing partner of the soon-to-open bar and restaurant shared his thoughts with The Gabber Newspaper.
“We really don’t have any information on the matter.” said Burton. “A homeowner will hire a contractor to do work, and they hire the workers. If there is a dispute, that is between them. Through building the business, we hire companies, not the workers who are part of the companies.”
Despite this, Stormrunners staff is disappointed the work was ruined.
“We really just want the painting and the work done,” said Burton.
Clawson and his team are working to repaint the mural — they say on their own dollar.
Clawson’s Take on Stormrunners Dog Mural Controversy
Clawson gives Perry credit for being part of the team of artists, but also states that Perry had to leave after a dispute over money with the mural.
“I have receipts that I paid Justin,” said Clawson. “He wanted more money for something that he didn’t do. The police are handling it, and he has a couple of options from here.”
Clawson declined to share his receipts with The Gabber Newspaper, saying he felt uncomfortable doing so while the police investigation remained ongoing as of Feb. 5. GPD reiterated this, and said they would not share details until the investigation ended.
But Clawson has definite thoughts about what happened to the colorful dog mural.
“Justin vandalized his own work. He admitted it to my employees, and we have him on camera leaving the building,” said Clawson. “He kind of snitched on himself.”
Many residents and supporters of Perry have taken to social media to speak about the issue; some urging people to not donate to Clawson. Perry’s wife, Katie (@dirtmallbarbie), posted a photo of the original mural, with the caption explaining the situation.
“This is my husband’s work that he put up at the new dog bar in Gulfport. It was completely painted over and blocked out so we’ve stayed pretty quiet after the pure anger and sadness we’ve been through. To make it worse, he wasn’t paid for the work he did and the ‘leading artist’ went MIA and was unable to contact for weeks. That artist is also now claiming my husband’s work as his own and pulling on the heartstrings of locals to donate money to help him redo the mural. If you know about this situation and live around Gulfport please do not get scammed out of your money.”
Through phone calls and messages, The Gabber Newspaper tried to reach out to Perry to get his perspective, but did not get a response.
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