Culver City Murals

June 29, 2013 – Every morning when I arrive to Culver City via the Exposition train, I go downstairs towards Washington Blvd. Along with a group of commuters – familiar faces I see everyday – we wait for the bus to come. Across the street is an empty old building that use to be an auto dealership. What makes this building enjoyable to see every morning are the murals painted on it by street artists. The building itself stretches at the length of two to three blocks. The murals are various sizes. Any unique area of the building that is not a flat surface, an artist got creative and incorporated the unique surface into their art work. There is one mural located on a wall of protruding stones that an artist used to his or her advantage to create an image that reminds me of Chicano/a art from the 1970s.

Another set of murals that I enjoy seeing every morning are two small kids.  One of the kids is a young boy sitting on his skateboard with his helmet on, resting, while his hands hang over his knees and his large, heavy, blue eyes stare off in a distance. There is a quiet determination in his eyes. I can see the angel wings sprouting from his back.  A caption written above the boy says: “Angels come in various sizes.” The other image is of a young black girl with brown wide eyes. She is sitting down with her legs crossed, resting her head in her hand, squinting one of her eyes showing skepticism at the viewer. Sprouting from her back are peacock feathers. At the end of each feather are beautiful eyes staring out to the viewer.  A caption is written above: “Art?”

In December, I came across an article in The Los Angeles Times that focused on these murals. One day we won’t be seeing them.  The auto dealership maybe demolished so a mini shopping center will be built in its place. The LA Times wrote about the street artists who painted the murals and art enthusiast, Warren Brand.  Brand is responsible in getting permission to use the old auto dealership and reaching out to street artists to paint the murals.  He knew the murals wouldn’t stay on the building forever, but still. He is sad to see that they will be gone.  And so am I. As of right now, there is no possibility of saving and conserving these murals. Unless they break down the building one wall at a time and transport these murals to a facility or an area in Los Angeles where the murals can be on display for the public to see.  That would be great, but getting the funding and finding a new home for these murals will be a challenge. You never though. Anything is possible.

Street art is a form of expression and is created for a variety of reasons.  But the actual art itself isn’t meant to be forever.  The art work can be whitewashed, painted over by other artists, or demolished. However which way it works out, l agree with the organizer: I will miss seeing these murals every morning while waiting for the bus.  I rather see an old decrypted building cover with amazing murals than another mini shopping center, especially since there are quite a few of those in the area.

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Further Reading….

Culver City Murals Will Soon Give Way to Retail (by Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times, December 4, 2012)

Arguments Over L.A.’s Mural Ban Paint Different Pictures (by Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2013)

A Quick Tour of Downtown Public Art (by Ed Fuentes, KCET Departures, June 21, 2013)

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This entry was posted in Cultural Landscape, Culver City, Los Angeles, Public Art, Trains and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Culver City Murals

  1. Pingback: Culver City Murals Being Demolished | NicolesArtsResource

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