MBW and MLK Get Greywashed

It's a fact of life for street artists that their work is going to get covered up, torn down, painted over, or if you're Man One, billed for tens of thousands of dollars by Gloria Molina to be sandlbasted off walls.

Your adversaries may be fellow painters, the weather, construction workers, or municipal governments. But generally you get at least a little bit of time in the sun, because the wheels of bureaucracy take a while to grind the art away.

Not so with MBW's posters that went up around town on the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King.

With the phrase "Follow Your Dream," and images of MLK (and some Malcolm X), the posters covered those gray boxes at street corners (that may or may not control stop lights) along Sunset Blvd in Sliver Lake and Echo Park.

MBW and MLK Get Greywashed

(Taken shortly before the overly enthusiastic painters appeared)

But someone besides MBW was working over the weekend. I took the pictures on Friday, while driving around Echo Park, listening to the man's speeches on NPR. By Sunday, I was trying to point them out to someone as we were driving along Sunset and they were gone. They had been completely painted over in ugly gray, with just little bits of paper flecks visible underneath. Not a trace remained of the man's image underneath.

I almost didn't stop on Friday night and get the pictures. I thought about waiting until the next morning when they'd be in sunlight, instead of late at night. But because I still had a few hours of "April 4th" left to go, I collected some pix, went home and uploaded them so at least they'd be there with that fateful day tagged to them. I"m glad I did or I might have missed shooting them entirely.

I'm amazed that some crew of painters was working that hard over the weekend, and managed to so diligently erase every last bit of those posters. I wonder what were the painters thinking of when they did this? Did they even recognize the man in MBW's posters? And finally I can't help wondering if any of the painters were black.


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