People on the streets of Capetown and Los Angeles will soon be looking at the same posters created to honor the memory of Nelson Mandela.
This week 4,800 copies of the tribute by L.A. street art laureate Robbie Conal were headed to a township outside the South African city, he said.
Wednesday night volunteers were busy putting up more of the posters in L.A., too, despite warnings from the LAPD not to do so:
On the previous sniping run last week, the LAPD showed up alongside Conal's supporters, who were drawn by social media. Cops warned them not to post the artwork (see video below). It's considered vandalism.
Conal, undeterred, gave the officers who came to Canter's Deli copies of his work. And then he carried on with pregame preparations for the evening.
“They had patrols watching for us,” Conal told the Weekly. “But we know that once we go out into the great desert by the sea there's no way they can keep up with us.”
Following Mandela's death last week Conal got to work, creating two versions of the same piece — one that says “Dancing,” and one that says “Walking.”
The black-and-white oil paintings were transformed to lithographs and copied 6,000 times for distribution throughout L.A. and the Capetown area, he said. Conal plans to make more because he's already out.
The “Dancing” version refers to what Conal calls “the Mandiba shuffle dance,” which Mandela undertook regularly after he was released from his 27-year stint as a political prisoner.
The “Walking” version refers to Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
“He's probably the most inspiring statesman in my lifetime,” Conal said. “We all could learn a little bit from him.”
Look for Conal's 18-by-24-inch posters on a wall near you — LAPD willing.