Artist reacts after his illegal splash of colour on Windsor bridge is painted over

A rail bridge that crosses Walker Road has lost its colour after the artist who painted it went public to spark a conversation about art in public places.

CP Rail said the act was illegal and dangerous but will not comment on possible charges

Artist reacts after CP Rail said what he did was illegal and dangerous. 0:49

A rail bridge that crosses Walker Road has lost its colour after the artist who painted it went public about his work to spark a conversation about art in public places. 

Eugenio Mendoza said the bridge was painted brown within 24 hours of sharing his story with CBC News on Monday. 

​"I knew it was going to happen but I was shocked at how quickly it was," said Mendoza. 

CP Rail called Mendoza's work "both illegal and dangerous" in a statement sent to CBC News this week. 

'Subject to prosecution'

The statement said that "more than 80 Canadians died while trespassing on railway property" in 2017.

"Individuals that trespass and commit vandalism to railway equipment or infrastructure will be subject to prosecution," said a spokesperson for CP rail. 

Eugenio Mendoza said he painted the rail bridge over Walker Road to spark a conversation about the lack of art in Windsor's public spaces. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

The spokesperson declined to comment when asked how much it cost to remove Mendoza's work, if they'll be pressing charges or if the removal of the work impacted rail operations.

Mendoza said he hasn't been contacted by anyone about charges or repercussions for his actions. 

'Was it worth it?'

On Thursday Mendoza said that his only regret about the piece was not having the time to re-touch the work before going public with his story. 

"Was it worth it? Absolutely. Would I do it over again? Absolutely," said Mendoza. 

Eugenio Mendoza wants people in Windsor to think about bringing more public art to the city. 0:53

"The people have spoken. Listen, they want more art in Windsor. Are they going to give it to us? We'll see," he said. 

Mendoza said he's had offers from businesses on Drouillard Road to put his work on their walls this year. 

Make an example

"I can understand if they want to make an example out of me but the fact is you got to outweigh the good and the bad," said Mendoza.

"Yes, I did a bad thing — but it's a conversation that needs to be started."

The side of the bridge Mendoza painted in February with bright colours and the tag DREVMS has been painted over. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

He said that people in the city are not using infrastructure in a way that promotes public art in Windsor. 

"I look at Detroit and it's literally like looking into a different dimension," said Mendoza. 

"Their art community has been booming for the last five years."