Story and photos by Nate Nickels
Artist Roger Dolin spent much of last week under a scorching sun, working to restore the graffiti-scarred mural he had painted seven years ago on an Eagle Rock stairway off Figueroa Street. If things go as planned, Dolin will today finish repairing and repainting the mural depicting people practicing tai-chi in a grassy field. “Even though it was nearly 100 degrees today, I don’t see anything else in the world I would rather be doing than this,” Dolin said last week at the stairway.
Dolin, who lives in Van Nuys, did not hesitate to come back to Eagle Rock after the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, which commissioned him to paint the mural in 2004, hired him to repair the artwork named “Tai-Ch.” Roger says his inspiration for the friendly colorful painting came from his interest in Tai-Chi dancers and their unique forms. The first time around, it took Dolin about six months to complete the mural on the stairway, which leads up the east side of Figueroa to Glen Arbor Avenue. The mural had garnered mixed reviews at the time of its completion, with some folks unhappy with the subject matter, Dolin said.
The mural, however, has a special place in Dolin’s heart. It was not only his first mural, but it was dedicated to father, who passed away while Dolin painted the piece in 2004.
In restoring the mural, Dolin talked about the challenges of matching what he did seven years ago along with how his painting style has changed over the years. With a bit of a laugh, Dolin says some things just won’t look the same and he is okay with that. He feels the mural now is more powerful because it’s a little more colorful and he thinks people will like that. Roger says that the restored mural will have a protective coating applied after it’s finished. If and when unfortunately, the mural gets more graffiti, a quick power wash can restore the mural.
Roger hopes that the mural will be taken care of and last for many generations to come.
“I am getting a lot of support for my mural and I am honored to be working on this project again,” he said. “ I hope people will continue to enjoy it.”
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