<body> Public Ad Campaign: The Aesthetics Police
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Aesthetics Police

Seems like even Fox News agrees with us, and the residents of LA, on the recent proposal to remove Phil Lumbang's simply adorable street mural.

VIA John Stossel's Take

Phil Lumbang is an artist who creates charming drawings of bears, raccoons and other happy creatures; his work appealed to Amy Seidenwurm and Russell Bates. They commissioned Lumbang to paint a mural on the wall in front of their home. Everyone seems to love the mural; people stop to take pictures in front of it. Everyone was cool with it, it seems, except one neighbor who complained the mural made the street “seem ghetto.” [MORE HERE]

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Blogger dennis said...

The bloggers and commenters shaking their heads over this story need to look beyond the obvious. This kind of situation was created by our friends in the outdoor advertising industry who have used every legal tactic to destroy the ability of cities to control billboards, supergraphic signs, and other convenyances of outdoor advertising. In a nutshell, they have argued in court that the city is guilty of unconstitutional discrimination if it treats a fine-art mural differently than a supergraphic sign. In other words, if it permits a mural on a wall, it can't prohibit a sign for Nike or McDonald's across the street. There is ongoing litigation about this, but as of now the city jeopardizes its sign regulations if it issues permits for murals, or fails to act on complaints about unpermitted murals.

Blogger juls said...

where is this in Silver Lake? I want to check it out before it's buffed.

Blogger Jordan Seiler said...

You make an excellent point Dennis. Which is why outdoor advertising and public space are two incompatible ideas. advertising by its very nature must control public space, dominate it, in order to have the most influence over public thought in order to push commercial consumption. what is sacrificed in the wake of advertising's constant land grab is the public's ability to use its own judgment on how to curate our shared environments. If the permit issue was not at hand, this would be decided by a neighborhood board. the single resident would be out voted and the mural would be allowed to stay. more on this to come.


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