LA Keeps Beloved Mural, Gets a New One from Shepard Fairey
Mayor Eric Garcetti grants massive Foster the People mural a stay of execution.
Graphic designer and graffiti artist Shepard Fairey is still taking his art to the streets, albeit with official permission. His latest work is an almost 10-story mural gracing the facade of the Line Hotel in Los Angeles’s Koreatown, reports Complex.
The painting, titled Peace Tree, features a vaguely tribal design featuring stars and flowers, and stands near the hotel’s entrance. “The Line has a bunch of cool art in the interior as well as a great D*Face mural on the exterior, so I’m grateful to be situated in a bit of a creative oasis,” Fairey wrote on his website.
While Fairey may be responsible for the city’s newest piece of public art, mayor Eric Garcetti is responsible for prolonging the life of another piece, a mural from indie pop darlings Foster the People that was scheduled to be painted over on Monday due to permit issues, reports the Los Angeles Times. The 125- by 150-foot mural features the cover art from the band’s latest album, Supermodel, designed by local music and art collective Young & Sick. It was painted in January by artists Daniel Lahoda and Leba with graffiti art groups LA Freewalls and Vyal.
Band frontman Mark Foster was informed last week that the mural was no longer permitted. It is unclear why the mural was temporarily jeopardized, but city ordinances do not allow murals that are ads. The mural does not feature the band’s name or any logos, and the artwork was not created specifically for the album. According to a statement from Foster, “the permits that we were told were approved, have retroactively been denied due to a number of issues involving the building and the city.”
“This news has come as a surprise and disappointment to me and everyone else that collaborated on making this project happen. This mural was our contribution to the city of Los Angeles—our kiss of color to the city we love,” the musician added. “Never did I think I would be involved in creating an art piece of this scale and magnitude. We feel truly honored to have been able to share it with you.”
Foster announced his intention to film the mural’s whitewashing and invited fans of the band to attend. They quickly mobilized, launching an online petition that garnered 12,000 signatures and a prompt response from City Hall, which spoke to the property owner and got them to agree to delay the mural’s removal. There is no word on how long the stay of execution will last.
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