Is the Lee Harvey Oswald mural in Bishop Arts appropriate?

lee harvey oswald mural

The image of our neighborhood’s most famous assassin now adorns a wall in our most famous district.

A new mural of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald went up at the corner of Seventh and Madison about a week ago. Oswald once lived about a block from where the mural is, and this infamous photo of him was taken about three blocks away.

The artist is Ponchaveli, who painted the JFK mural at the South Dallas Alamo Draft House as well as Selena and Prince murals on his West Dallas studio, just off of Sylvan.

Christian Avanti, who owns the new barber shop Members Only commissioned the mural. The new shop is an extension of Avanti’s shop across Madison, the Kings Club. He says there are plans to add the words, “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names.”

He figures some older people might not like the mural, but many younger people don’t even know who Oswald is.

“We’re not trying to idolize him,” Avanti says.

A JFK tour recently added the mural to its Oak Cliff stops; offensive or not, it will bring tourists to the Bishop Arts District.

By |2016-08-25T15:29:25-05:00August 25th, 2016|Art, News|10 Comments

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Rachel Stone is the Oak Cliff editor. Email or follow                                     


  1. S Adam Bernstein September 12, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    On one level it’s like having a mural of John Lennon’s killer next to the Dakota, but on another is a famous part of Americana appropriate to the area.

  2. Smokey September 2, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    The candy factory
    … body storage theory is off the table! The remains went straight from the Dallas ME’s office to Miller Funeral Home in Ft. Worth. Dang I thought we had something there!

  3. Smokey September 2, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Masterpiece is one word, and that was not a funeral home in November of 63′. Of course it’s plausible perhaps that they stored his body in the candy factory that was in place at that time. BTW Oswald was gut shot not the head. Try again amigo, that urban legend bull poop ain’t selling….

  4. Theo The Great August 31, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    People have rushed to judgment even before mural completed with the John F. Kennedy quote. Also, the subliminal details are over looked, ie.. the hole that was already in the wall before the mural was started, is now a hole in Oswald’s head with a metallic (Ralph Lauren) gold splattering from one side and spewing out the other side with the famous words of John F. Kennedy “Forgive Your Enemies, But Never Forget Their Names” stamped into the gold matter along with John F Kennedy’s name and in parenthesis (Assassinated 11-22-63). But even more ingenious than the misinterpreted work of art or shall I say MASTER PIECE, is the title… “Knowledge Is Golden” which can be directed at the those who had no idea that the barbershop that the mural is on, is attached to the funeral home that Oswald’s body was held… So it is safe to say that its a Bigger Picture.
    The JFK Mural was also painted by the same artist that painted the Oswald as well as the Stevie Ray Vaughn in his childhood area of Oak Cliff. And while we are at it, lets not forget the Selena, Ali, Prince and the famous picture of John Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s casket the day of the funeral,(which also happened to be on John Jr. birthday when his father was buried) murals he has also done in Dallas without cost to anyone but himself and his time so that Dallas would have free art mural open to the public for personal pictures, photo or video shoots; Just as was done with the JFK that he and fellow artist Josh Mittag painted overnight in the rain in remembrance of the 50 year to the date of the JFK assassination.

  5. Smokey August 28, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    In reality the shop owner nor the artist could tell you much about the man or that day in November 1963. They both did it for money and notoriety. Ask either one a few Oak Cliff history questions and get ready for a blank stare. With that said… art is that which inspires, this image was intended to incite.
    It is a portrait of a murderer.

  6. ConspiracyTheory August 27, 2016 at 12:18 AM

    I don’t find it offensive at all. Lots of commentary to be made here. The man remains a big part of Dallas history, same as The Texas Theatre, his old apartment, the coffin… Which have been popular interests. I’m more likely to find this mural of JFK at Southside offensive– bullet and all.

    I love this. Well done.

  7. Bishop August 25, 2016 at 8:12 PM

    No. It is in terribly poor taste. Will Mr. Avanti be commissioning the visage of Micah Xavier Johnson to adorn police headquarters? Maybe Whitman’s image on the drag across from the UT tower? Or perhaps Mark David Chapman on the The Dakota? James Earl Ray on the Ebenezer Baptist Church?
    I understand art is oftentimes meant to provoke an emotional response or begin a dialog to create an eventual common understanding… but some conversations are just boringly idiotic and should be politely ignored. There is a reason the images of Saddam and Stalin get pulled down after the revolution… no one likes to hero-worship the a%$HOls.
    This is simply a tasteless, Kardashian-level-idiotic attempt at creating a “stir” at the expense of fellow local business owners and anyone walking by with baseline sense of human empathy.

  8. anorm August 25, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Seriously,Travis. Calling people’s opinions whining isn’t very coexisty.

  9. Travis Rex August 25, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    Let’s talk about all the $$$ that is made off of the JFK death tourism in this town and then we can listen to the outrage about a mural depicting one of the players in the historic tragedy. It is just as gross to see all the people down there flocking to where the President was shot, versus seeing this mural in North Oak Cliff where Oswald creeped around for some time. And sure..let’s do one for Tippit as well, that way there won’t be any whining about fairness.

  10. anorm August 25, 2016 at 3:49 PM

    Officer Tippit’s face should be on that mural. It’s only a couple of blocks from where he died. I think it’s in extremely bad taste.

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