"Cityscape" by Andre Miripolsky in Pershing Square. Aug. 11, 2012. Photo by Helen Ly / viewfromaloft
Artist Andre Miripolsky updated his Downtown Los Angeles "Cityscape" sculpture, which also became a mural at Pershing Square. The sculpture itself sits in the offices of Central City East Association. The image became 15 X 50 mural, a Pac Mutual commission for Art-Squared Gallery at Pershing Square, an outdoor art program that reached its 5th year of exhibiting curated works in public space.
Behind the scenes here, I've been having interesting conversations with artists and muralists working on help set policy for the mural ordinance. In the eyes of some, this is a mural. For others, this piece should not be considered public art supported by the mural ordinance because: it was not painted by hand; it is an installation; and/or because it's on vinyl; or it is a "replica."
Here are some posts from the ongoing mural coverage at KCET.
I have long been proud to be a muralist in this city, as the designation was synonymous with being progressive and in favor of community voice; the most open minded stance. However, on July 12, 2012, a group of fellow muralists stopped the new mural ordinance passage, thereby continuing the ban against murals on private buildings in the City of Los Angeles. The most fervent goal of the group seemed to be to insure that innovation not occur in mural processes by those of us leading new innovative methods of production in muralism that include the use of technology.
They declare that a mural produced as a hand painted, fine artist-rendered, original artwork, printed and adhered to a wall, is not a mural. Only paint directly applied on the site, to a wall, is a mural. This argument to limit artist's means of production is reminiscent of a debate, a few years back, which argued that a mural painted with acrylic was not a mural; only murals painted in fresco constituted real murals, said past naysayers, and acrylic murals should not be subject to the protection of the VARA Act.
The distinction between "Original Mural Art" and "Public Art Installation" should be made as a consequence of an artwork requiring a safety inspection because it includes elements or is placed on a substrate that must be attached to a structure. Yet, rather than adopting language regarding public safety, the new draft makes a distinction based on artistic medium without regard for the installation process.
A hand-painted artwork applied directly to the surface of a wall does not require a safety inspection because it poses no risk of public safety after its completion. However, other processes do. Digitally printed images, for example, produced by printing the image on substrates ranging from light pliable materials to rigid constructions of wood or metal, must be attached to a wall somehow.
The definition should then be centered upon what seems obvious: is a safety inspection required? MCLA firmly believes that the privilege of defining what art is and what it is not, resides with artists, not with municipalities and commissions.
ALSO: A Mural Installation Isn't A Weapon of Mass Reproduction. [Ed at KCET]