Murals are definitely one of the most beautiful, sometimes haunting, aspects of Los Angeles and environs. In a bleak urban landscape, these colorful encapsulations truly pop out. Some constitute a visual political statement, some show a glimpse of culture or history, some are just beautiful, still others are just bland images with no particular purpose other than looking better than a blank wall. In fact, we like talking about them here at blogging.la on occasion, most recently The Evolution of Revolution to Evolution, written by Cybele.
Unfortunately, for the same reasons they are a blessing in urban environs, our murals are also far more at risk in that environment.
The Christian Science Monitor had an interesting article (displaying on the USA Today site): Los Angeles grapples with saving its murals. An excerpt:
‘…after several years of funding cuts and policy shifts, artists once drawn to L.A. are moving elsewhere, to Oregon and Philadelphia. And the murals — some decades old — are threatened by deterioration from age, a growing number of gang markings, and city inspectors who are more rigorously demanding that property owners keep their outer walls mural free….’
A sad state of affairs, and an interesting contrast to the hallowed gallaries and rarefied atmosphere of a LACMA or other capital-A Art museum. Not to say those museums aren’t worthwhile (of course they are), but the galleries of your neighborhood are as important or perhaps even moreso.