Molina spokeswoman Roxane Marquez calls the mural a “public nuisance and a potential safety hazard,” citing the death of two constituents in graffiti related violence earlier in the year. She justifies Molina's decision to introduce the mural's removal as an emergency measure by saying the county is “trying to save lives” — a notion that infuriates Meeting of Styles curator and renowned Los Angeles graffiti artist Man One.
“This isn’t gang graffiti – people marking off their neighborhood or their territory,” he says. “This is art. We just happen to use spray-cans. But they’re trying instill fear in people to get their way. This was a great, positive event that brought out thousands of artists and neighborhood people to one of the ugliest, most neglected areas of the city, and now they’re trying to turn it into something else.”
“When you have a permit to create a mural, and then you have to remove it because someone in power doesn’t like it, without any dialogue, that’s censorship. That’s a dictatorship.”
FoLAR now has 90 days to remove the mural or be forced to foot the bill when the Department of Public Works does it for them. No further public hearings are scheduled on the matter.
September 29: Marking the event at the Arroyo,
November 23: Remnants of the mural, now whitewashed, and just as quickly tagged.