Artist Alex Schaefer with LAPD in front of Chase Bank. His commentary sits curbside. Photo by Rush Varela. (Added 11:43 p.m.) Bottom photo via Facebook: In the Arts District, friends and colleagues of Alex Schaefer held a candlelight vigil for Schaefer in front of District Gallery.
ADD July 24, 11 a.m. Artist Alex Schaefer was released after 12 hours in custody, according to Jonathan Jerald, who oversees District Gallery, site of last night's candlelight vigil.
Artist Alex Schaefer was arrested for chalking the sidewalk in front of a bank that has been subject of his work. In front of Chase Bank on Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles, Schaefer wrote “CRIME” with a Chase bank logo just after noon on Monday. Moments later, the artist was detained by BID’s “purple shirts” security, say witnesses, then handcuffed and taken away.
Schaefer has been booked and charged with vandalism. His bail set at $1,000, confirms LAPD.
The artist is known for a series of Los Angeles Chase Banks burning, which got the attention of law enforcement and media. “One time they asked if he was a terrorist. He said he wasn't and the police went on their way,” wrote NPR in September 2011, reporting on the story that appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
That same month, one of Schaefer’s painting was purchased on eBay by an anonymous German art collector for $25,200.
It is not known if Schaefer’s street art statement is in anyway related with Occupy LA’s demonstration and protest with chalk during July’s Downtown Art Walk last Thursday. That ended with 17 arrests and four police officers injured.
Schaefer is co-curator for the current "Portrait of the Arts District" at The District Gallery at 740 E. Third St, which is also showing some of his paintings.
Schaefer being handcuffed by LAPD. Screen grab from video via Rush Varela.
Schaefer with completed chalk art. Photo by Rush Varela.
Candle light vigil for Schaefer in the Arts District. Photo via Arts District LA