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Monday, July 28, 2014

Echo Park “Quinceañera” mural to be painted over *

* Update: The owners of Senor Fish have apparently had a change of heart.  A post published this afternoon on KCET’s Departures blog said the owners will work on restoring the mural.

The streets of Echo Park  have over the years seen many a Hummer and stretch limo filled with young women and men decked out in formal attire for a quinceañera, a coming of age celebration for Latino girls. It was an Echo Park quinceañera that served as the basis of a 2006 film of the same name and the ritual also inspired a mural, featuring a girl dressed in a pink and white gown and flowing dark hair, on the side of an Echo Park seafood restaurant. That mural, painted in 1996 on Logan Street near Sunset Boulevard,  is now being painted over by the new tenant, Señor Fish, a Mexican restaurant that is replacing the former Pescado Mojado seafood restaurant. Workers sandblasting the surface of the building had stripped away a section of  the mural – titled “Quinceañera“- before stopping work to give the artist, Theresa Powers, enough time to try and document the artwork, said Señor Fish owner Enrique Ramirez. “I am going to hold off until the whole thing runs its course,” said Ramirez, who is considering replacing the mural with the work of another artist.

In general, under city law, mural artists must be given 90-day notice before their work is painted over or removed. Ramirez said workers began chipping away at the Echo Park mural after he spoke to Powers, who now lives in San Antonio, about removing Quinceañera.  She initially said she was fine with removing the mural, Ramirez said, but later called him to say she was looking at her options. That’s when Ramirez said he halted work.


Related Link:

  • Quinceanera mural on Logan Street coming down? Patch

98 comments

  1. This is horrible. That mural is an Echo Park landmark. I will definitely boycott the restaurant if this happens. Kudos to Red Hill for preserving the mural on their building.

    • Please boycott since we would rather have you stay at home instead of supporting local businesses.

    • Please, say away. I get a table sooner, and you miss out on the best fish tacos in town. Why don’t you try controlling your own life instead of the lives of others?

      • Patronizing Red Hill to Boycott Senor` Fish ? Like Voting for Sarah Palin to Advocate Women`s Rights ? Like Supporting the Screen Actors Guild, in order to advance the cause of Workers at Wall Mart ? Like Nuking the
        ” Cholos ” and leaving all the Starving Trash Art Shooting Galleries Standing … LOL !

  2. Wow, they already ruined most of it. Way to go Senor Fish! Taking away Echo Park’s culture one chip at a time.

  3. Hi folks.
    It would be wise if the muralist investigated her options under the California Art Preservation Act and the federal Visual Artist’s Rights Act. Both protect works of public art from actions such as the one taken above. This article gives some good background on how VARA (at least) operates:

    http://www.iptoday.com/articles/2008-9-brutocao.asp

    In certain cases, the acts require that 90-day notice be given to the artist before removal of the piece begins. From what the article above says, I am going to assume that such notice was not given. That being the case, this artist should definitely make contact with a lawyer through Calif0rnia Lawyers for the Arts to determine what her rights and remedies are:

    http://www.calawyersforthearts.org/

    VARA and CAPA are sorely under-used in cases such as these.

    • I hope someday someone tells you how to paint your house, and then sues you when you don’t.

      • That comment does not make any sense. Elaborate.

        • It means since you think you have the right to dictate how someone else should paint their property (under penalty of law), that you get a dose of your own medicine and see if it goes down easy.

          • It might be a little different than what you describe. They are not telling the owners how to paint the property but they are saying that they cannot just destroy artwork without proper notification, etc.

          • There are actually plenty of instances in which ordinances and other laws DO dictate perimeters for how a property may be painted or otherwise renovated on the exterior. HPOZs for example. If it was just a wild free-for all with no restrictions on anything think how awful our city would look.

            I didn’t even know about the measures listed above but am glad there are protections for the public art that contribute character and substance to our communities.

            I LOVE Senor Fish, but getting rid of that iconic mural is not cool and a terrible community relations move.

  4. Agreed on kudos to Red Hill on the dinosaur hand mural, but, times change. I look forward to coming murals on the same wall.

  5. How could it be a landmark if it was painted in 1996?

  6. i think it’s pretty nice of them to let the artist document the mural before they paint over it. I will be stopping by to snap some photo’s before it’s gone. Sad, but times change. At least a restaurant that is tasty will be going in, would really suck if it was a pot shop or something. Try the potato taco’s when it opens up.

  7. If Its their right to remove it and it’s our right to put pressure on them to keep it. I’m going to contact them and let them know I disapprove anyone who agrees should do the same. It may just be a matter of them not understanding that these things are important to us.

    • Thanks Mark, I am going to contact Senor Fish and tell them the history of that mural and the artist and hope they will reconsider sandblasting it. They shouldn’t be bullied- it’s their property!

      • yea you’re welcome! everyone who feels motivated should contact them and give them their opinion not just people who agree with me.

  8. One man’s art is another man’s trash.

  9. The owner of Sr. Fish has been looking for the artist since he received the keys to begin his renovations within the last month. He is very courteous and is more than willing to work it out with the artist. Up until now, he has reserved his right to evict her from the mural. He’d rather find her, which according to the story he has, she gave him permission, and now it seems she changed her mind. I would advise him to see a lawyer. Old school handshakes don’t work in Echo Park….trust me.

    • Too bad they never pulled ANY permits. For any work. Trying to push through an illegal expansion with an existing Conditional Use Permit for Beer and Wine. Imagine, right next door to 2 schools and across the street from a youth gang intervention center!!!

      Shame on you Senor Fish. Now, you can have some public hearings like everyone else.
      Let the those who hate on Beer and Wine Licenses have a go at them. The mural issue will be small time.

      E.

      • On the subject, that was a very sloppy sandblasting job. There is still sand on the sidewalk and street. With the strict new EPA lead rules (and penalties), I would have thought that the contractor would have done a better job at containing the mess.

        • @Kevin.

          I said the same thing to them (the contracting crew) last Sunday when i saw them rushing all the debris into the gutter. Which, then goes down the storm drain. When I started taking photos, the foreman got all nervous and asked what I was doing? On a sunday? I’m reporting you to Building and Safety. He played dumb about the no work on Sundays. So i gave him 15 minutes before i called LAPD to pack up and leave. They left. But not without first making a mess.
          Sounds like at least now, they will have to follow protocol and ask permission, not just apologize. Hopefully this was just a lapse in judgement, not a sign to come of another bad neighbor.

          cp

          • Oh you are sooooo proud of yourself aren’t you!

            OHHH I’m reporting you to B&S and LAPD!!!

          • Person CP, you must not have anything else going on in your life to spend your sunday telling people to stop working on a building that you do not own. Geeez man. Geeez.

      • for goodness sakes there’s about 10 bars and two liqour stores around the corner from that schools. the gans run rampant, closer to the school. let’s keep our heads here, restaurants are not a problem for this neighborhood, even if they serve beer and wine. the guys selling meth & smack to the hobos in front of the laundromat 1 block from the school? = problem.

  10. Senor Fish scooped up the place, it’s their right to do what they want with it.
    That mural rode for a long long time. Out with the old, in with the new.

    Senor Fish, looking forward to seeing what you’ve got to offer my stomach.

  11. To property owners: If you do not want to have this problems in the future, DO NOT give permission to any “artist” to paint on your public walls. Artist and lawers use this to made easy $$$$$…. Learn your lesson…..

  12. eh get rid of it, its already mostly gone and her arms are freakishly long anyways.

  13. i really like it when the ExP gang spray paints on the murals. that’s really cool. they’re great. this is barely related. i comment cause i can. bye now.

    • These guys sound like saints who really take the neighborhood culture seriously whether they are able to save this mural or not. It all sounds like a misunderstanding

  14. THINGS CHANGE PEOPLE!!!!

  15. Let them decorate their propety as they see fit. What’s sacred about a mural? Some of them suck. Though I rather liked this one, I won’t miss it. Whatever it takes for Senor Fish to open. Their fish tacos are da kine!!! I can’t wait.

    Now if we could only get rid of the two-wall monstrosity on the corner of Echo Park and Sunset. What I wouldn’t give for a nice normal paint job on that place!

  16. That’s a shame.
    I’m glad I was able to participate in documenting some of the murals and other public art in Echo Park and environs for one of my Urban Studies classes at CSUN.

    Here’s a photo of the Quinceañera mural as it once was:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/47940788@N06/4418702407/in/set-72157623458376811

  17. Don't Feed The Trolls

    Hahahahaha –

    Totally.

    Maybe paint it, like, a big butt or something.

  18. Just saw the update that it will be now be restored instead of destroyed. Good. Removal of it could have been eerily symbolic.

  19. I don’t care whether or not the mural stays or goes, but I would love to see the whole quinceanera tradition sandblasted out of Latino culture. I’d rather see Latino families take the thousands upon thousands of dollars they spend on this celebration and establish a college fund with it for their teenaged daughters.

    • …………….same for bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs

    • Wow! Great idea! Why don’t we just wipe out the whole Latino culture?!?!

      • dBsandblaster, I don’t view every element of one’s culture as sacrosanct – and there’s a lot more to Latino culture than the quinceanera, which some folks might argue was brought to Latin America by the colonizing Spaniards. If I advocated for ending female “circumcision,” would you accuse me of attempting to “wipe out” indigenous West African cultures that practice it? A healthy culture is able to examine its own practices and toss out the harmful stuff while working to maintain the positive.

  20. Yay for the news in the KCET link above!

    Though the restaurant apparently had a legal right to take down the mural, “Quinceañera” is such a distinctive artwork — one of those things that give Echo Park its character — that removing it was just not a good signal that the business was being sensitive to the community. Things do change, but after losing Magic Gas this past weekend, this was just too much more of Echo Park’s magic to lose! Keep Echo Park interesting.

    Thanks, Señor Fish, for reconsidering! I’m glad I’ll be able to continue to eat your fish tacos.

  21. God bless the owner for reconsidering and deciding to keep the mural. As others have said, it’s one of the things that make our neighborhood special.

    I wonder if a little more input to the new owners of “Echo Fuels” could convince them to restore the name of Magic Gas. They may think that, since the last owners didn’t do so well, that changing the name of the station may signal something better What they don’t know is that most of us loved the name, we just didn’t appreciate the service provided by the former owners.

  22. What is worth saving about that piece of S***?

    I feel sorry for the biz owner who feels he has to appease the mob!

    After all he did say he was going to have a new artist give it a shot. How could the new artist be any worse?

    Lets be honest, anyone with a projector and some paint could create what some are calling “art”. AND most of the time, the ONLY reason these “art pieces” exist is to cull the impending tags that would ravage the space… given the option between this art and random tags? Well, I guess I’d rather a solid wall and a security guard armed with a bat.

  23. And who has hair like that anyway?

  24. And IS SHE RIDING THE PINK ROSE???

  25. Maybe we can trade murals with Estrada Courts.

  26. This was painted in 1996 by a white woman who went to a very expensive art school (Rhode Island School of Design) and approved by Jackie Goldberg.
    So how is keeping this monstrosity preserving the culture of Echo Park?
    Get rid of it and get some real street art up there!

    • Nobody walking down the street likes or dislikes this mural because it was created by a white person. Who gives a shit it’s either good or not. So then Mexican’s should never be allowed to direct movies with white people in them? Your comment is racist.

      • Nope buddy, This is a debate about preserving the culture of echo park. How is a crappy mural that was painted by a RISD student Echo Park culture? That is the point so you can take your racist comment and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.
        Good morning.

        • And I dislike this mural because it’s poorly executed. I always have since the day it went in. And this artist lived here for like A MINUTE. And she also helped start the “art walks” here. From what I can tell she was a PART of the gentrification.
          Anyway y’all can have your mural preservation meetings at the Yacht Club. Oh my!

          • “Gentrification” is part of Echo Park culture. Get a clue.

            And yes, your comment is racist. Why should it matter if she is white or Latino? Are you saying that white people can’t be part of “Echo Park culture”, whatever that means?

            These drones – and you are one of them – who drool the word “gentrification: across their keyboard in almost every thread are getting tiring. You act like you have hit on some important social issue when all you are doing is using it as a mask for your own racism.

          • Whoa – your decision to judge the value of an artwork by relevance of the subject matter to the artist him/herself is opening a philosophical can of worms. So are you saying that ancient Egyptian artifacts created by slaves but depicting royalty have no artistic truth or value? I know that’s an extreme example, but that’s the line of reason you are following.

            If anything I think the meld of cultures (a white woman depicting a WOMEN’s holiday in another culture, one that is notoriously machismo) creates some interesting layers. However, you are certainly entitled to think it’s ugly.

            In the end though, what really matters is the meaning it has to the community, not the artist or intention.

        • yeah your comment is racist. An artist is either capable of reflecting some truth or they are not. Whether the mural reflects Echo Park Culture or not has NOTHING to do with whether the person is white or went to RISD

          Your initial comment had nothing to do with disliking this mural because it’s poorly executed It just an indictment of the value of an art because of the persons race and education and that is racist BULLSHIT deal with it

          Good day to you Madame!

          • Nope it was more of a comment about preserving culture and whether that is actually a part of Echo Parks Latino culture. I say it’s not. We can agree to disagree without name calling.
            I personally don’t think a white person from the East Coast who lived in Echo Park for a hot minute has a whole lot of insight or emotional attachment to the subject. In fact I find it a bit exploitative considering she was probably paid by a grant from the city to do it and it seems from the helpers/ most likely unpaid interns signatures that she was probably exploiting people from the hood to work for her for free while she paid her rent with bad art. But hey that’s just my opinion.

  27. And if people really cared about preserving the street art of Echo Park they should have been up in arms over the destruction of the mural on Sunset between 7-11 and cafe tropical that depicted drug smuggling that was painted over by STUPID bicycle riding chickens. Sandblast that, too while you are at it.

  28. I would always see ep crossed out by OBS gang in that mural…lol

  29. Too bad a mural of the Echo Park Lake would be nicer….even nicer if we could eat fish tacos from the lake…

  30. A lot of these negative comments reek of gentrification. If you never liked what Echo Park had to give in the first place (yes, despite all the gang affiliation and bad rep. it had) then why move there? In fact, move to the Westside. The Eastside doesn’t deserve you naysayers.

    • I moved here specifically to help the gentrification process. A good investment too! My property values are increasing while the rest of the countries values are decreasing! The gangs will eventually disappear as the property values increase because the tax revenue goes up too which means more cops etc… Textbook definition of gentrification.

      So, how about you deal with me and compromise on these issues because the tide of gentrification is moving in like it or not.

      And all of you who don’t like it can move to the next place I’ll be investing in…

    • I am proudly pro “gentrification” and more Latinos should get on board instead of complaining. You can either participate and make the neighborhood better or you can whine. Many of you have chosen the latter, sadly.

      This fake battle between old and new residents has to stop – and it’s mostly the “old” residents who are the culprits. Learn to be good neighbors.

      • But now we have PETA! How will that fare with the cultural significance of bacon wrapped hot dogs? It’s a direct clash and a slap in the face to this neighborhood as the bacon wrapped hotdog is a part of our culture here.

        • But yes, an occasional bacon wrapped hot dog is good. But, if the bacon wrapped hot dog includes a side of drive-by gang fire… Well I’d give up the bacoed hot dog for some two boots!

          Lets ask the baco-wrappers to get rid of the gangs!!! YAY!

    • Its not gentrification, its restoration.

  31. I love that mural and am glad to hear that it will be restored rather than be destroyed! Thank you to the owner of Señor Fish for the change of heart.

  32. Here is a very nice link discussing public art in Los Angeles and the history of Echo Park and Silver Lake in case any of you are interested.
    http://www.csun.edu/~csbs/news/CSUNEDENDALE_2_17-11.pdf

  33. get rid of that ugly ass ghetto mural that has no relevance to contemporary times #fact

  34. If the mural depicted a blonde, “white” girl and said “Debutante” in cursive writing above her, no one would object to the mural’s disappearance since, in Los Angeles especially, “white” people aren’t deemed as “culture” or having cultural backgrounds.

    Taxonomic myopia.

  35. I like how the debate about preserving Latino Culture in Echo Park has degenerated into protecting white peoples rights to make art about the Latino Culture.
    And white people’s rights to have murals about white people. It’s all about you isn’t it???
    Hilarious!

  36. The flipside of your overreaching argument is that the whole of “Latino Culture” (“culture” as capitalized, no less) rests on whether or not a single, fairly new mural of dubious quality remains on a wall. Further that artist’s perceived ethnicity (and all its trappings) of said mural need to play a part in this conversation. Are you equally incensed when Latino cooks make Japanese food?

  37. As long as the food is not preserved for a lifetime as art, no problem.

    • so your saying you base your judgment of value and what cultures are allowed as their focus is based on longevity of the thing being made. I mean cmon that doesn’t even make sense. I think you just had a poor choice of words and your subsequent posts make you look even worse trying to defend your initial position.

      This is coming from a “ethnic” person who’s lived in the area my whole life AND went to a really expensive art school since that seems to matter.

    • Congrats on being ethnic! Now what the hell does THAT mean? I know in the fashion world it generally means big ugly wooden beads with an indiscernible symbol of unknown origins to the designer. Oh and congrats on art school. You are a lucky lucky man. I sure hope you are using that degree. Or perhaps you are an “ethnic” prep cook.

      • Thanks! It means I’m not white. Congrats on being rascist! Yes I’m using it I’m an “ethnic” graphic designer who believe it or not they let create designs for creative properties often primarily about white people. I’m not sure how I do it though clearly I have no insight into the subject.

        • Oh you are a graphic designer. Now everything make sense!

          • Makes sense!

          • haha, I’m sure. your ability to size up people based on superficial is uncanny.

            Anyway to be fair based on your comments I don’t think you actively dislike people based on race. I do think like a lot of people you have latent preconceptions about what people can or should do based on race. That’s different than malice but it is insidious.

          • Okay so now I am not racist? It’s very hard to keep up on what I am here.

          • …uuhmm misguided. I’m just telling you I’m not sure making a couple racist statements or latent prejudice rises to the level of “racism” I dont think that’s fair statement. I really don’t care what you do with the info.

          • Mark- stick to graphic design.First you call me a racist twice and then you backpedal. There is no backpedalling in debate.

          • Thanks for the advice but ill just say whatever is on my mind. I’m not really sweating what you think about it, that’s not the point. Please be factual, I called you out on your racist comments twice. I called you a racist once.

  38. Where are these Latino cooks making Japanese food, btw? I go to Little Tokyo all of the time and have never personally seen this phenomenon.

  39. Sand Blasting a Mural of the Quinceanera at a New Mexican Restaurant, would be as common place as Changing the Tile on the Floors. Trading Pau Gasol would be quite another story. ” Red Hill ” ? LOL !

  40. Kelly, you’ve seen the Wizard of Oz, right? On your way to the restroom, peek behind the curtain.

    The Japanese faces behind the sushi bars and at the cash registers are about the only Japanese people there, certainly not the people preparing and making the food, washing the dishes, busing the tables, etc. Yes, just about all of them. But you like the food, right?

    Living proof of why “authenticity” is subjective, overrated and often times, irrelevant.

  41. I want people to work hard, spend their own money to make things that I want or I will complain! Use your time and money for my needs!!! Wahh!!! Wahhhh!! Wahhh!!!!

    In full disclosure this is a repost from another comment section. I just cant understand why people think that other another persons time, money and work is theirs to rule over. It would be great that if you have a problem with what someone does with their property that you submit your personal situation so the rest of us for approval, notes and comments.

  42. Oh I get it! You are saying that kitchen prep people are mostly Mexican no matter what you are eating. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

  43. Everyone is worried about this terrible Quince mural while forgetting this beautiful mural that had a message that was covered up by those stupid meaningless bike riding chickens. And no one cared.

    This is an excellent mural, painted on two retaining walls. This page has pictures of the east retaining wall. The mural shows how drugs and alcohol affect home and daily lives in the inner city. The title in the mural is written “Inner City (Drug/Alcohol Free)”.

    http://www.grconnect.com/murals/html/r17img1115.html

    • I loved that Inner City mural, too. It was so colorful and interesting, with the Gerber baby, and the guy throwing up (the demons of addiction, I believe). I was sad to see it go, and I agree… it was much better than the chickens. Still, I love the Quinceañera mural, too.

      • Actually the guys throwing up into bowls shows you how they smuggled heroin. This was a very intense mural and very real and emotional and wonderful and beautifully executed by a latino artist in a latino neighborhood and no one cared when it went. It breaks my heart every day when I see the chickens.

  44. As if the bland and flavorless mojarra frita wasn’t enough reason to never return, here’s one more

  45. its the mans property he is entitled to do what ever he likes. are you going topay him for keeping it up?no ? there needs to be change sometimeright why not start here

  46. Gentrification = money coming into a neighborhood that was notorious for it’s drugs and poverty but a few years ago. How awful.

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