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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I've posted this mural in the past, probably several times. I've admired it every day on my commute for several years. Well, a couple of days ago riding west down Venice Blvd., I see a cardboard sign that says, "RIP, Marcos- Car Wash". I stopped to ask what was up and they told me they were washing cars for donations for his funeral. I had talked with the artist a few times over the last few years. Nice guy. Early 20s and had no idea how much talent he really had.

RIP Marcos
 

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cultural loss / preservation?

How sad. What an incredible talent lost. Such a passionate mural should be preserved - but they're all so vulnerable. I'm appreciative of the arts community in greater LA, but frankly unaware of the scene, its players, its codes. I wonder if there is any record / book / gallery showcasing such inspired murals?

I have an idea - but maybe it's presumptuous. What if some of us go out and take a little time to document nice murals with a good quality photo. Then try and learn a little about the creator. I'm thinking maybe assemble a photo book using an online service such as Shutterfly (or whatever) with pictures and short blurbs about the artists. Basically an independent publication. The neat thing is that it could evolve/grow whenever a new mural arrives on the scene, and it would be a community effort.

What do you think? I wonder if there are rights or copyrights issues? Or is it public domain? Or are there other folks 'in the scene' who would disfavor such an approach?
 

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I remember seeing this mural in one of your ride reports and thinking how good this guy was--someone whose skills and message greatly transcended the usual garbage scrawled on the walls. Great combination of vision and the chops to put it out there. Wish I'd had a chance to tell this guy how impressive that was.

Thanks for letting us know...
 

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I like the idea of documenting the murals, but a lot of it might be duplicated effort. I haven't really done any kind of survey of mural resources here in ages (in fact, my interest peaked around the '84 Olympics). Sometimes it's difficult to judge when something crosses over from graffiti to mural, but I can't imagine any muralist getting upset about some exposure. I'm no lawyer, but I'd think anything in a public space would be in the public domain, at least as far as "reporting" on it.

What kind of scope are you thinking of? Confining it to "people's art" works, or including the iconic stuff, too, like the Farmer John plant, the freeway art from '84, Kent Twitchell's stuff, etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ispoke said:
What if some of us go out and take a little time to document nice murals with a good quality photo. Then try and learn a little about the creator. I'm thinking maybe assemble a photo book using an online service such as Shutterfly (or whatever) with pictures and short blurbs about the artists.

Sounds like a really cool idea. I just need to get a good quality camera. I'm currently without one. That's why I haven't posted photos in so long.

BTW- I didn't mention in the original post that the artist recently spray painted over this mural with plans to make a new one in the same spot. Bummer.

I told the family that I have several decent photos of the original mural.
 

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Some timely related news

Came across a piece in the L.A. Times Calendar section on Friday regarding the painting over of a couple of L.A. murals...did shed some light on "ownership" issues, etc., which we were batting around earlier in this thread. Can't find a link to the article on the Times' website, and I googled for it, but if you can dig a print copy outta the trash, it might make interesting reading.
 

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art vs. graffiti

The Walrus said:
I like the idea of documenting the murals, but a lot of it might be duplicated effort... What kind of scope are you thinking of? Confining it to "people's art" works, or including the iconic stuff, too, like the Farmer John plant, the freeway art from '84, Kent Twitchell's stuff, etc.?
What do you mean by duplicated effort? Is there already a publication, or has there been in the past? Are these murals such a well known resource that they've already been documented, discussed, and such? I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I see photo projects and books all the time that fall under the category of "anyone could have done this for years - but finally someone did"! Not to mention that new murals pop up all the time, so it would seem to be a renewable resource.

Thinking selfishly, it would be a great personal project for a small picture book. But thinking democratically, it would make a great online project in the spirit of the Mirror Project:

http://www.mirrorproject.com/

Regarding scope - it would be nice to focus on "people's art" first and see how far that goes. But it might not be enough because of all the great murals on river paths, Chandler bike path in north hollywood etc. etc. etc. Sometimes hard to know what is "free" and what is commissioned. And even if it's commissioned, perhaps it captures a local spirit that makes it worthwhile.

Regarding art vs. graffiti, I don't know how to describe the difference, but I know it when I see it... ;)
 

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I agree that the "guerilla art" projects might be a better subject, as they tend to be more ephemeral than the commissioned works, and have a vibrancy and intensity that the "professional" ones lack. I mean, I love the Twitchells and the Nike ones on the 76 building by the Convention Center and the freeway stuff from '84, but that's all been documented exhaustively (I can think of a couple of coffee table books, plus innumerable magazine and journal articles and gallery showings of photos of the murals). The truly wonderful thing about the "amateur" ones is that they pop up unexpectedly--I just noticed an eye-popping one alongside the Gold Line route in Highland Park (south side of the tracks, west side of Figueroa) yesterday, sort of a Mayan/Aztecan motif. There are the Native American ones along Marmion Way, below the Southwest Museum, that I posted in a ride report last year. I keep seeing work that appears and then is replaced or painted over in Venice. It's that serendipity that's great about finding these works, that and the passion that drove the artists. Too many of the big, famous, "legitimate" murals have a strong element of calculation in them that really diminishes their impact.

Regarding art vs. graffiti, I don't know how to describe the difference, but I know it when I see it... ;) True dat!
 

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already done - sort of

Well Double-A did me a favor and pointed me to one of her favorite browsing sites, flickr. Here's the Los Angeles Street Art page, and there are links to a bunch of related themes:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/losangelesstreetart

That took a bit of wind out of my sails - but not totally. What I like about Ty's photo is that it focuses solely on the art. No bother with the surroundings, events, people etc (unlike the link above). It recognizes the work on its own merits. I still think there's a project for that kind of specialty - but perhaps that's been chased down already too(?).

If I had my druthers (sp?), I'd say: Street art but not graffiti. Preferably unsponsored, unless there are family or community elements that make it worthwhile. Taken with a 50mm "normal" lens (same for digi-SLR owners but you have a smaller field of view) so that the work is presented in the same perspective as the human eye sees it (unless height above ground, or grand scope, beg for a different lens). Possibly with a second shot highlighting the artist signature. Any and biographical info one can gather...
 
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