Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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The Garvey House in Altadena

The Plumbean Report:

This house is on Devirian Place in Altadena, in walking distance of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and dozens of horse stables. When I first saw the Africa painting several months ago, it was about two-thirds toward the degree of completion you see in this picture. My first thought was, "Plumbean!" I was thinking of it as folk/outsider art, something irrepressible and personal, though obviously political. One pair of painted sashes reads: "Humanity Superiority/White Supremacy Inferiority." Another reads: "Our Story/Not History."

It turns out to be an organized effort, with fifteen contributors' names listed on the bottom of the mural, and an email address for a man named Lacy. Leaning against the house today was a small sign that read "The Garvey House."

When I stopped in front of the house to take my iPhone picture a few days ago, there were two pickup trucks parked in front, both of them painted red, black, and green. A woman who waited in front was friendly about my taking pictures, but she did not want to talk. She pointed out the email address.

It was a notable contrast, between the woman's reticence and the screaming red paint, the house's boldness and operatic call for attention.

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