A Better Call Saul-inspired mural by artist Mike Sobeck, known for food-themed murals at Studio West 117 and Mason's Creamery, was recently finished on the side of the Taubman Law building. Before you’re quick to judge, let’s hear all the evidence.
When Brian Taubman of Taubman Law bought the building from Pete Snavely, the two became friends. It was Snavely’s idea for the area to become a hub for art installation and projects.
“Since there was already a mural there to begin with, me and him decided it’d be better to keep art there and kind of promote the idea of that area and make it lively and fun,” Taubman says.
The previous mural on the building was by Cleveland-based artist Ryan Jaenke. Since the building needed exterior brickwork and windows added, Taubman let Jaenke know that his work would most likely be damaged by the construction so he could take pictures while it was still intact.
Snavely then connected Taubman and Sobeck. They started talking about ideas for murals in late September 2022, but autumn is no good time for an artist to begin an outdoor project, so they reconnected in winter and got the ball rolling. That was eight months ago.
The mural itself took 15 days to paint and was inspired by Magritte’s Son of Man. Sobeck’s specialty is pizza painting, so Saul of Goodman was something new for him.
“It was totally out of the box for me,” Sobeck says. “I don’t typically do portraits with my mural work. If I do portraits, it’s usually an oil painting. So that was a little different. But I had a lot of experience painting people as well, and the ice cream cones were definitely in my wheelhouse. I’ve done murals for Mason’s Creamery and a few other paintings of ice cream as well. It was all sort of, I guess, combined — everything I’ve done in the past in some ways.”
Surprisingly, Taubman didn’t intend for the mural to be an advertisement at all. People who are fans of the show reference it, some people post pictures on their social media, but, overall, it’s just something beautiful to enjoy.
“I don’t think people gravitate [the building] as a lawyer building or whatnot, but if they do, that’s great,” Taubman says. “Mostly, I thought it’d be fun to have something there that’s unique and different that draws attention to the building, and if it makes an increase in business, that’s great. But it wasn’t the ultimate drive.”
Sobeck is an alumnus of Ohio State where he studied art, mostly oil painting. He did one mural in college, which eventually ended up growing into a passion. He likes to be able to do a few murals a year, if not more, he says.
Currently, he is planning a street mural in the South Hills neighborhood of Old Brooklyn, Ohio.The artist hopes to start in August.