The Rhetorical Analysis of the David Bowie Mural in Downtown Phoenix
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The Rhetorical Analysis of the David Bowie Mural in Downtown Phoenix

How rhetorical devices are used on a tribute mural of David Bowie in Phoenix, Arizona. The informational analysis shows how all of the rhetorical devices are used to display a certain message and to contribute the legacy and gift of David Bowie's life. For the David Bowie mural, it keeps the musical legend in our thoughts and prayers forever.

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The Rhetorical Analysis of the David Bowie Mural in Downtown Phoenix
This photo is from Pixabay

The mural I picked for my rhetorical analysis was a David Bowie mural in DowntownPhoenix. The mural caught my eye as I had recognized that face before. The mural is located at1715 N 7th Street in Phoenix. The mural takes place in a parking lot. The artist of the mural is named Maggie Keane. Maggie Keane is a local artist and Phoenix native. By the way, if Keane's name sounds familiar, it's probably because you've seen some of her other work on Fox 10 News, according to a Fox 10 news article. Keane received her bachelor's degree with a focus in painting and drawing from the University of Arizona. She's also a court sketch artist and has covered some big federal trials, including Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Jared Loughner, according to a Fox 10 news article. My attitude towards this mural is all positive because the mural has an implicit timeline shown through a visual representation of portraits that everyone remembers of David Bowie, The David Bowie mural shows a timeline of his career and life by displaying multiple characters of Bowie. David Bowie was a trailblazer in the music industry. He was more of a rockstar than anyone else in his era because Bowie knew what a rock star was, before any of us. According to an article by Billboard, the album Ziggy Stardust is known to be one of the greatest science-fiction albums of all time. He also helped bring rock n' roll to fame. Although he was known as a rock star, he influenced a lot of other music genres. Bowie was a pioneer of glam rock, according to music historians Schinder and Schwartz, who credited Marc Bolan and Bowie with creating the genre. In fact, David Bowie did a lot of work with R&B music as well. Bowie was an English singer that was loved by the entire world. The mural included content from his hero shoot, the album Scary Monster, AladdinSane, the movie Labyrinth, and the album Low. All of the paintings were self-portraits of DavidBowie from his most popular albums and movies. The paintings had Bowie in his costumes such as his costume from the movie The Labyrinth. The artist used a lot of bright colors in her paintings to create a positive message from the mural. The bright colors helped create a pathos appeal to the mural. The mural creating a positive tribute toan iconic figure in the music world for a period that spanned decades. The purple, red, orange, yellow, gray, sky blue, and white interlaced intricately to form pictures of this iconic artist. Within those colors, she throws in shades of pastel colors to catch the viewer's eye. The pastel colors also create a gloomy feel to the mural about a topic that could be viewed as sad. The death of an icon like David Bowie was hard for a lot of people, but the mural makes people view his passing in a more positive manner. Rather than feeling sad that he is gone, the mural makes people feel happy that he was with us and impacted our lives for the better. The mural sure caught my eye as I could see it from a mile away. The portraits that related to his music were the album covers with his best music ever made.

The shapes of the portraits are of his face and it displays what the murals are about very well designed. As for the rhetorical situation, Maggie Keane has a lot of prior experience with drawing faces with her work as a court sketch artist. Maggie also has experience with drawing on large objects. The audience for this mural is David Bowie fans. In which Maggie Keane does a tremendous job at appealing logos into the mural. She does this by using characters that all David Bowie fans know of and can relate to. The assumption made by Maggie Keane is that the audience can easily recognize these characters of David Bowie to better commemorate his life and contributions to the entertainment industry. As for ethos, Maggie has established strong credibility to her name as she has other murals in the valley. According to an NBC 12 News article, Maggie Keane has contributed more street art to the Valley, such as a wall in her neighborhood for Khalsa Elementary School and her Ninja Sex Party mural on Oak Street. This tribute to David Bowie also appeals to the rhetoric known as kairos. This mural was made in July 2016. The same year that David Bowie died of liver cancer at the age of 69. The timeliness of this mural was spot on as the death of Bowie was still very relevant at the time. During a time in which many people were devastated by his death, the mural brought a positive perspective to his career and life at the perfect time possible. The mural also appeals to the rhetorical device known as pathos due to that the mural brings back memories to people of some of his best performances. The mural made me wish that David Bowie was still alive and creating music. While also making me happy that his career even happened.


All of the rhetorical appeals were used effectively at creating a purpose for this mural. The mural today is a place where people can come and remorse over the life of David Bowie. The self-portraits have a huge importance on showing the career of David Bowie. By displaying recognizable characters of Bowie, the audience can easily connect and relate to the mural. I experienced a sense of nostalgia when viewing this mural. Each self-portrait I viewed brought back memories to me that I remember being very positive about David Bowie. This tribute mural of him helps remind the audience why David Bowie was so significant to the entertainment industry. To make sure that no one forgets about Bowie and the impact he had on society. This piece is worth viewing because of the positive vibe it resembles while paying respect to a huge icon. This mural will help keep David Bowie's legacy live on forever.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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