Newcomer claims incumbent ordered up a grotesque mural for her building. She’s also claiming someone stole her campaign banner.
As political scandals go, this one’s pretty fowl.
Someone not only stole a campaign banner on City Council candidate Gwen Goodwin’s building — but then painted a none-too-subtle mural of a bird with a severed head that she says was commissioned by the incumbent, Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The so-called “Chickengate” scandal burst into the open last Sunday, when Goodwin, one of four hopefuls trying to unseat Mark-Viverito in East Harlem, discovered the missing flyer and called cops, claiming she saw her landlord steal the campaign banner.
“They stole my sign,” the enraged Goodwin told the News.
But this mystery goes back far further than last week.
The project’s name is Spanish for “The Walls Speak.” And in this case, Goodwin thinks they speak volumes.
Her building’s wall was handed over to David “RIMX” Sepulveda, who promptly covered it with a colorful image a severed rooster-like head attached to a wooden scaffold.
No one is commenting about the artwork — Eastside Managers, Sepulveda, the museum and Mark-Viverito didn’t return calls — leaving Goodwin to have a cow over this weird bird.
“This a picture of a bird who’s head has been severed from its body,” she wrote in a mass email to supporters. “I have been told in the Puerto Rican culture it means ‘problem solved.’”
Goodwin claimed the painting has connections to Santeria, a mix of ancient African rituals with voodoo and some Catholicism. But Caribbean art expert Marta Moreno Vega said Goodwin is no religion expert.
“This woman has issues,” said Vega, president of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in East Harlem. “The bird has no reference to the African religion.”
Told that she’s off base on Santeria, Goodwin tried to keep the focus on the scandal and its feathery implications.
“I am running for City Council against Melissa Mark-Viverito, who was responsible for commissioning this so-called art,” she said.