Comment posted June 4, 2010 regarding Strother Martin Monument 1971 (1 reply)
Ah Kent, The seventies were mural time in L.A. I remember all those wonderful murals decorating the city. Yours & Terry Schoonhoven & the L.A. fine arts squad. Ah the " The Isle of California " The Climax club murals, your "Lady of the Freeway ", The SM freeway murals , Ruscha, downtown all the way to the 84 Olympics murals. Then it was over. All either graffitied to dearth or just plain painted over. Then there was the futile attempt to preserve them. At that point I guess you realized that you were living in L.A. not Florence , Italy. Land of temporary illusions forever changing.
The spray paint vandalism was at the core of the end of the mural movement. LA started the murals in the late 60s with those of us who thought of ourselves as hippies and it traveled around the world, helped by the media attention unusual things in LA get. Ironically LA has now become the one place where murals cannot survive. Most of the murals that were painted over were done so because they were covered with graffiti. Efforts to clean the tagging eventually compromised the paint surface and the perception was that the paint was not lasting. Today perception is more powerful/influential than truth and people began thinking of murals as ugly graffiti-laden walls that would have been better left unpainted. Spray paint vandalism and the murals have now been tainted with the same understandable discrimination and the days of the late 60s through the mid 80s are a memory for those of us who were there. The “Mural Capital of the World” has become the" Graffiti Capital of the World" and LA has officially outlawed murals along with building-sized commercial ads. That doesn’t stop the taggers of course. It’s a strange new world. You are absolutely right though. We thought that we were in Florence. That’s why we put so much into our paintings. We thought the world was good and that people just all wanted to be nice.