Against the Wall
Last updated: July 3, 2019
From Renaissance Italy to post-Revolutionary Mexico, mural painting has been understood as a privileged art form that revels in grand, philosophical narratives, carefully built to last for centuries. But in Los Angeles, murals have developed as a street art, punchy and direct, concerned with cultural identity and protest. As a result, they tend to be surprisingly fragile and unstable, subject to abuse, neighborhood change, and the bleaching of an unforgiving sun.
Institutional Whitewash by Thomas Lawson
In downtown Los Angeles, the history of whitewashing controversial public murals is persistent and oddly echoic. After a half-finished mural by Italian street artist Blu was erased from MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary in 2010, Thomas Lawson revisited the troubled saga of América Tropical, David Alfaro Siqueiros's 1932 commission on Olvera Street.
Surface Tension: Mapping Murals in Los Angeles by Ken Gonzales-Day
Ken Gonzales-Day discusses Surface Tension: Murals, Signs, and Mark-Making in Los Angeles, a photographic journey to map out the city and make visible the larger cultural, socio-economic, and political forces that have shaped the place we have come to call Los Angeles.
Against the Wall Archive