Last Man Standing: As of Sunday, the south retaining
wall of the 101 at Spring still has "Buckle-Up," the 1990 mural by artist (and LAPD officer)
Steve Rose. After a series of Downtown works were painted over, this isn't one of you think would be left alone.
The previous blank portions of Downtown 101 retaining walls, and this "not-as-cool" public safety piece, were for the most part left alone while well known pieces were hit –– giving a tagger more visibility.
No telling if these Downtown murals were marked to establish gang turf, or was the work of a graffiti artist developing his portfolio. The issue is, and it's something we have brought up here before, is all graf artists can easily lose support from some of those who consider graffiti a legitimate form.
It always brings up the call for space to be provided for graf art so tagging can be curtailed, yet it contradicts claims that this form of marking up walls has nothing to do with the practice of street art. Even so, just think how much public space could have been set aside if funding wasn't committed to save, restore, or cover up established pieces.
Also, tagging a noted mural with an intent of exposure on that piece could be considered purposely destroying something regarded as a work of art, and I wonder if it's grounds for a stiffer penalty beyond what Sheriff Baca has recently proposed.
Below, the remains of another 1984 Los Angeles Olympic-era work, John Wehrle's "Galileo, Jupiter, Apollo". It's still located on the north retaining wall on the 101 between Broadway; visual spam of taggers included.