Man gets boat mural painted on fence city officials made him build to hide vessel


SEASIDE, Calif. — When a California man was ordered by city officials to erect a fence to hide his boat, he complied, not wanting to swim against the current. But he still made a statement in a splashy way.

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Etienne Constable, of Seaside, commissioned an artist to paint a mural of the boat on his fence, just to make a point to city officials, KSBW-TV reported.

“I’m not a rule-breaker but I like to make a political statement as necessary as well as a humorous statement and a creative statement,” Constable told the television station.

Constable said he received a letter from Seaside city officials in July 2023, requiring him to build a 6-foot coverage screen in front of his boat.

After discussing the issue with a neighbor, Constable decided to build a fence, following the letter of the law. Then he trolled city officials by hiring an artist to paint a mural of his boat on the structure, KSBW reported.

Etienne said he considers his artwork a First Amendment right of expression and would be surprised if city officials ask him to remove it. City officials have not responded to the mural, according to the television station.

“I’m all in favor of generating a discussion and making people smile,” Constable told KSBW. “The reaction is extremely more than we ever expected and we’re both just tickled about it.”

Hanif Panni, who painted the mural, said his work generated a conversation about what is art and what is an eyesore.

“I’m a big proponent of public art in spaces,” Panni told the television station. “It engages people in ways that reaching out and having conversations doesn’t sometimes.”

It is not bad for business, either. Panni said other residents in Seaside have asked him to create murals for their boat fences, KSBW reported.

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