For years I have been a fan of Ruben Ortiz-Torres' art (and his blog) as well as a mural that I assumed had been painted by Ortiz-Torres because the mural graced a wall outside of his studio. Recently, I was saddened to see the mural painted over, and I mentioned this in a post about a different mural that also had been erased. Now, I learn from artist Patrick Miller, who has worked on and off in Ortiz's studio for the last five years, that the new missing mural was, in fact, the work of the artist TOFER, not Ortiz. Miller explained that Tofer's mural came down after a band hipster tagged it with a smiley face sticker and his band's myspace address. It was all too hideous, and the whole thing had to be destroyed. Honestly, this new breed of art prankster/angry hipster is turning into a public menace. Though it should be noted that it actually was the city who painted the mural down, without notifying the artist or property owner. Is that right and proper? On private property?
Miller was at Ortiz's studio the day Tofer's mural went dark. He wrote:
I just wanted to clarify that the mural at Rubén Ortiz-Torres' home/ studio was commissioned by Rubén and painted by TOFER aka Christopher Chin. It has been tagged several times over the years. Tofer having a background in guerilla public art, designed the mural, with roller marks and drips, so that roll-overs of tags could be incorporated into the design.
The mural survived many defilements over the years and a few Rubén even liked and let stay.
The last straw was some jackass from a band that put up a happy face sicker and scrawled their myspace adress on the wall. Apparently that was all this city could take, and they rolled the entire mural without permission or notification.
To recap, the mural was Tofer's, and we miss that one, too.