NO: The old bait and switch by Jason Powell
April 2, 2008, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Art, Politics


Here’s a twist on the does-graf-belong-in-a-gallery question mentioned in this post about last week’s Wreckfest show: does graffiti belong on walls where the County of Los Angeles actually commissioned the work as part of a public art project? It seemed that way at first, but now a County official is backpedaling, and it’s making national headlines. In a bid to beautify a huge section of the Arroyo Seco, a manmade tributary that feeds into the LA River, local graffiti artist ManOne (née Alex Poli) and the Friends of the Los Angeles River organized a huge volunteer mural project in October of 2007. Literally hundreds of muralists showed up, creating 10,000 square feet of murals on what was once bare concrete. But County Supervisor Gloria Molina quickly changed her mind after deeming some of the images in the murals “inappropriate for a public art display.” The official word is that the murals are attracting increased tagging and gang-related activity, but some suspect that it could be a pair of green breasts that are the real problem. Molina has given the group until next Wednesday to whitewash the entire mural, But Poli stands firm as well, with an AP-worthy soundbite at the ready: “We did nothing illegal and we had permits,” he said. “We’re in the business of creating art, not destroying it.”


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The L.A. River is the fastest flowing river in the country.

Comment by btfaust

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