Photo Courtesy of  Asphate Woodhavet
Art Type
Media / Materials
Year Completed
May 2015
Purchased by RoCA, Des Moines, Iowa
Latitude & Longitude
41.585167, -93.619512
Location Description
The mural is located on the east wall at 208 Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309.

Ancient Minds of Modern Scribes

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A grid of murals were commissioned for the exterior, east wall of a restaurant on Court Avenue in Des Moines. Located in the lower and central part this wall is a 25-ft-wide by 12-ft-high mural titled Ancient Minds of Modern Scribes. This detailed composition is applied directly on the surface with aerosol spray paint by artists Asphate and Leter91.

The mural’s left side is formed by a profile of the famous head and elegant neck of Nefertiti, the 14th century B.C. Egyptian queen and religious revolutionary—a symbol of universal, timeless beauty. Cables extend from Nefertiti’s flat crown into and out-of Asphate’s letter style that resembles mechanical apparatus and stretches across the lower half of the design.

Detail of fiber optic cables that connect ASPHATE’s futuristic letter­style to Nefertiti's (flat top) cap crown.
Detail of fiber optic cables that connect ASPHATE’s futuristic letter ­style to Nefertiti’s (flat top) cap crown.

The mural’s upper portion depicts the pyramids of Giza in Egypt. (The largest pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years, and it is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.)

Represented in the upper right section are the famed Moai, monolithic human figures of Easter Island’s archaeological sites in Polynesia.

Purple is the dominant color selected for this composition. Three distinct purples are incorporated into the visual elements: red-purple, purple, blue-purple. The most powerful visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy, purple is associated with supernatural energy and the cosmos. More so than any other color, purple symbolizes magic, mystery, spirituality, the sub-conscious, creativity, dignity, and royalty.

This piece was inspired by the continued trend of humans borrowing from and being influenced by Ancient cultures, yet advancing in technology and becoming more physically disconnected from other humans. The imagery includes the Moai of Easter Island, the ancient pyramids, and the likeness of Nefertiti connected by fiber optic cables to ASPHATE’s futuristic letter-style.