Photo by Jay Babcock
Jay Babcock reports in Nature Trumps that the other shoe has dropped for the murals that graced the Los Angeles River banks near Elysian Park. They appear to have been vandalized by County workers, who brushed white paint all over the images a group of name artists donated. The artists had permits to paint on the river banks; County crews apparently had work orders. As for the murals, not everyone loved every image -- that's the way with art. But now the debate moves from the subject of imagery to the concept of ugliness and nothing -- except for the possible misuse of public funds.
In an email Jay writes:
I gotta say it is very sad to see this naked, pointless, destructive abuse of power. I wonder...how much the County is going to end up paying the affected artists, as I am being told that there is clear case law precedent in situations like this.
Nature Trumps recently posted an April 1 AP story that provides a good overview of the issue.
One thing I liked about the murals: they gave a sense of positive human presence down by the river. Along with the trees and other wild flora, they helped erase the sense of desolation of the concrete river banks.