Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Check It. Awesome bear graffiti in Silverlake.

If you've ever spent some time traipsing around the Eastside, you're sure to have come across them: the cartoon bears and other forest animals, smiling and giving you a friendly wave. The 'awesome bears' have appeared in other random, hidden parts of L.A., but here in Silverlake, against a green meadow and blue skies, they seem right at home.

But not for long. As Phil Lumbang has told Public Ad Campaign and Eastsider LA, the mural--which is displayed on the wall of and was commissioned by private property residents Amy Seidenwurm and Russell Bates--will be taken down March 1 for violating the city's restrictions on outdoor advertisements.

As a passionate fan of and advocate for street art, I am truly disappointed by this news. If there is any sort of street art that can be easily defended for its lack of threat to the community, it's this mural here. It's a cartoon bear waving 'Hello!', for goodness sakes! And that's without taking into consideration that this is part of a private property, was commissioned by that property's owners and isn't even an advertisement of any kind...unless you count happiness?

Councilman Eric Garcetti has responded that he'll look into the issue, which hopefully will lead to good things. In the meantime, watch this delightful video below of Lumbang painting the piece, and then make it over to the Eastside and pay your respects: the animals will be happy to see you.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Public Ad Campaign

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