From blogger Viewfromaloft:
“With the skills of a proven underground political artist, a move by the County was completed to evade public debate, disregard any potential compromise in discussion, while sneaking under the holiday radar.
“That’s what you come away with when you learn the Meeting of Styles murals, organized in September by the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR) and [graf artist Man One’s] Crewest Gallery, was sideswiped by Los Angeles Country Supervisor Gloria Molina. County reps, who are regarding their own paperwork and permits [silent], managed to have [the County Supervisors] switch from supporting the project to backing Molina’s demand that the newest murals in Arroyo Seco be whitewashed.
“Not making it easier for FOLAR and Crewest––and any future sponsored works––are the taggers that have marked the same walls. That includes the tagger who posted a threat to Molina after the initial reports that a portion [of the mural, including the “Cultivate Love” piece] was whitewashed mysteriously after a meeting with organizers and Molina’s office. That threat prompted an order that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department question Man One.
“LA Weekly reports that last Tuesday, Molina introduced an emergency measure to the County Board of Supervisors requiring FOLAR [whose sole financial involvement in this project was buying pizza for the gallery opening – J.B.] to whitewash the rest of the mural at their cost. The article says ‘the motion was quickly seconded by Supervisor Don Knabe, who called the mural “outrageous,” and was then carried without further discussion or public debate.'”
“The motion requires the murals be removed in 90 days, or FOLAR will be billed by the Department of Public Works if/when they proceed to take down the mural themselves.
“It [is] curious how so many artists with permits, and an organization that consulted with the Army Corps of Engineers, [on] a project that began with previous support of City Hall, that took numerous calls to confirm paperwork for a two-day weekend event –– moreso since it had to be rescheduled due to rain––managed to slip past Molina’s office.
“Molina is not only whitewashing a mural, she is covering up a lapse of internal communication, and willing place all the blame, and costs, on a non-profit organization that [steered] a mural project through red tape.”
From Man One’s Crewest Gallery News blog:”10.30.2007″Who buffed the MOS wall??
“As many of you know, the Meeting of Styles event was a beautiful thing. Hundreds of artists working side by side in unity, creating some wonderful master pieces of self-expression as a gift to the people of L.A..
“We’ve received nothing but congratulations from artists, community leaders, local activists, businesses, community groups, and citizens alike for putting on this event.
“Unfortunately, a small minority of people don’t believe in unity and public self expression, even when done legally and with permission. Some people still prefer to hold a negative viewpoint on anything created by young people of color, especially if the preferred art tool is a spray can.
“There is a controversy brewing in the Arroyo Confluence where the murals were painted. Someone has decided to go down there and vandalize the mural by buffing out about 300 feet of the artwork. No one has claimed responsibility or admitted to giving the order to buff.
“It’s obvious that it was done ‘professionally’ and not by a couple of guys with rollers. Whoever did this had to have driven down to the river fully equipped with spray guns, a compressor, and several 5 gallon buckets full of dull grey paint. Although they didn’t finish the job, they were able to destroy enough of it to make you sick to your stomach.
“Who would do such a thing? Although there are many speculations, we don’t know for certain who committed this act of censorship. The only thing certain is that it was someone who doesn’t believe in art or fears it greatly.
“Public radio stations have gotten wind of this story and contacted us and FoLAR about it. This week, Man One and Lewis MacAdams were on the air of KPFK’s popular morning show, ‘Uprising’ to discuss the matter.