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Monthly Mural Wrap: A Dozen Tags for October 2012

In this edition of the Monthly Mural Wrap at Writing on the Wall, we look at the notable mural and public art stories for the month of October. It's a look that reveals the street art as a business model, along with other random finds.

  • The National Basketball Association adds more street cred-like branding with "Art Of Basketball," a collaboration with Public Works Department, reports ESPN.com. "Our passion is graffiti, street art and the urban landscape, and then coupled with sports and fashion," said PWD curator Billi Kid to ESPN. "For the last two years, we've been focusing on 'Art of Basketball' because we feel there's so much meat on that bone." The project made its debut at Miami at Art Basel, and its first NBA audience was at Staples Center during the 2011 All-Star Game. The best angle: the backboards are used as "the canvas."

  • With politics being the best fertilizer for satirical content, LAist asked readers to send in photos of street art responding to the presidential election. It was a good crop this year. No one was safe from the spray and wheat-paste commentary.

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  • MOCA's "Art In The Streets" now inspires a series. See video below.


  • Curators Jose Lozano and Armando Duron were detained and questioned by KCET Artbound on an exhibition of Chicano Art with 40 years of politically charged content.

  • It was a random mural at Solutions Audio in Silver Lake. Then Elliott Smith was photographed in front of it and the image became the cover art for "Figure 8." Smith died in 2003, and fans have made the wall an homage to the musician. The mural keeps getting tagged. Indie music fans keep restoring it. This is one mural we may not have to worry about; It's in good hands.

  • Another version of street art: University of Redlands in San Bernardino County has an 18 feet by 23 foot mural fronting their administration building.

  • Melrose & Fairfax present home Halloween decorations as street art eye candy. It's a two part post, with more coming. Trick and Treat.

  • Street art is auction ready. A bidding was expected for the October 29 street art auction by Bonhams, billed as "the first of its type to be held in the U.S.," as reported by the Times. The results: "Senor Suerte," by East L.A. artist Chaz Boroquez, fetched $50,000 and a piece by Shepard Fairey sold for $74,500.

  • Just because the timing seems right, here is a look back at "The Financial Case for Public Art" by The Atlantic Cities article from May, 2012. ". . . experiences in Los Angeles show that public art can be a source of publicity and cash income, as well as beauty."

  • AsianJournal seeks to understand L.A. street artist Philip Lumbang and his series anchored by his creation, "Awesome Bear."

  • Phoenix, Arizona replaced authorized graffiti with authorized graffiti to create a mural program.

  • In Carlsbad, someone put a fork in the road. It's gone now, but not forgotten.

    Top: Kobe Bryant by Chris Stain I Courtesy of Public Works Department

  • About the Author

    Ed Fuentes is an arts journalist, photographer, graphic designer, and digital muralist who covers a variety of topics and geographies in Southern California for KCET.
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