L.A. River Path biketoon, R.I.P.

This tiny, but sad note in the rich and controversial history of L.A. street art has been brought to you by some nameless worker with a bucketful of beige latex paint:

Here’s the minorly famous Colorado overpass bike graffito on the L.A. River Path BEFORE (Via LAVoice.org):

and then just this weekend …


Here’s more of the piece’s scant history.

13 thoughts on “L.A. River Path biketoon, R.I.P.”

  1. You people really need to grow up. Graffiti is vandalism not art. If someone wants to create art, they shouldn’t do it on property that doesn’t belong to them.

  2. Aww, that’s too bad. I quite liked that bike.

    My favorite graffiti in that tunnel used to be the “F— Bush,” with the “uck” the only painted over part. It was as if the city decided it was OK for partial, but not complete vulgarity

  3. TJ, I enjoyed that one too but it wasn’t in the same place as the bike. It was in the underpass below the 5 Freeway up around the bend. Alas, that has been painted out as well.

    As to “Anon’s” sourly toned sniping: I’d admit there is validity to the position that graffiti — especially such as this bike and the “F— Bush”– is vandalism, but I’m grown up enough to understand there’s no need to be so petulantly arrogant about it and to recognize there’s a distinction between spray-n-dash tagging and, say, the wonderful and almost entirely unauthorized works of street artists such as Cach√©, among many, many others whose efforts enhance rather than detract.

    Try broadening your narrow mind, “Anon.”

  4. I’m absolutely with Will on this. The bike graffiti brought a little creativity to an otherwise dank and (literally) grey place. There’s no way the whitewashing leaves this a more joyful place. Instead, it strikes me as a rather petulant act.

  5. art1 (ärt) pronunciation

    1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
    a. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
    b. The study of these activities.
    c. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.

    Uh, nope… Graffiti is pretty clearly art (in the dictionary sense, even).

  6. Whether it “enhances” is a matter of opinion. I don’t agree with Anon’s tone, nor his opinion of you all, but I mostly agree with his stance on graffiti. I love art, but I generally hate seeing random parts of a city tagged up. Then again, some parts of this city, while not made better by graffiti, certainly couldn’t be made any worse. But I don’t believe “wherever the hell I feel like it” necessarily constitutes an appropriate venue for art. I’m not saying it’s NEVER appropriate, but IMHO it rarely is.

    And it doesn’t make someone closed-minded; no offense, but casting judgment on someone’s open-mindedness based on his disagreeing with you on one topic is silly on several levels. Would you be so “open-minded” if it were your property being tagged? How do you know Anon didn’t carefully consider the opposing viewpoint before coming to his conclusion (which, really, is what open-mindedness is about – willingness to consider, not necessarily accept)? Where you draw the line is not the only valid place to draw a line.

    No matter how much I appreciate an artist’s talent, I still disagree with the idea that it’s okay to tag public property just because the tagger happens to be talented.

  7. Big diff between tagging, writing, bombing and street art. Tagging is marking for gang purposes or kids who wanna think they’re in gangs. That bike piece was no tag.

    I hope someone puts it back up.

  8. Mr. Hooks, I respect your point of view and even “Anon’s” right to opposing mine. But nothing in what “Anon” wrote even dared to consider a different angle, whereas what I wrote in response essentially corroborated his position.

    Rigid yes, but fundamentally and philosophically there’s nothing wrong with the opinion you and Anon have in seeing all unauthorized graffiti as unlawful defacement (be it the bike that was the subjectof Mack’s post, gang tagging, or street art). So where is it that I draw some sort of blanket I’m-right-and-everyone-else-is-wrong line? I didn’t. I merely took issue with the evidence at hand that clearly indicated “Anon’s” narrow POV, pointed my finger at it and expressed a counterpoint suggesting a softening of the spanktone and a widening of the angle, both of which in 98.88456 percent of the known universe aren’t bad things to do.

  9. God knows those overpasses are so scenic and lovely in their pristine states we wouldn’t want to deface them. Oy vey. (And somebody better tell Banksy he’s out of a job.)

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