The life span of a Highland Park mural

Nov. 23: New mural on Monte Vista near Avenue 52/Photo by Katrina Alexy

Dec. 10: Mural after it was tagged and painted over/Katrina Alexy

It’s tough being a Highland Park mural.  Only a little more than two weeks after it first appeared,  a new Highland Park mural on Monte Vista Street near Avenue 52 had been tagged up and then painted over. Katrina Alexy snapped the photos showing the mural on Nov. 23 and what was left on Dec. 10. “So much for that one,” she  said.


  1. why can’t people leave sh*t that’s not theirs.. alone?
    Well, I believe in some type of cosmic retribution: the universe will pay these taggers back. dorks.

    • Two hot words: gang injunction.

      • Will the gang injunction do anything about this? My understanding was that the proposed gang injunction prevents 300 named individuals from associating with each other in public. Are those 300 individuals responsible for the majority of the unwanted graffiti that goes up over murals? Maybe they are! I really don’t know, but I always assumed that graffiti was the work of a wider group of people – maybe I’m just sheltered for not assuming that all of it comes from gangs?

      • We already have three gang injunctions in Highland Park.

        We need an injunction against shitty parenting.

        Nice job taggers, this is why we can’t have nice things.

        • Well when their parents have to work 16 hours a day with poverty wages things tend to be a little more complicated than that.

          • @la la la

            Spare me.

            I have friends in the Military who when deployed, have to be away from their kids for MONTHS at a time and none of their kids are out joining gangs or tagging up the neighborhood.

            Being poor is no excuse for ruining a neighborhood. Most of my family grew up poor and none of them were out gang banging or tagging the hood.

            Stop making excuses. Every single gangbanger I have ever talked to has come from a crappy, dysfunctional home.

            Shitty parents = shitty kids.

            A cop told me once that it’s usually the same 10% of the people causing 90% of the problems…. I tend to agree. Dysfunction is taught and passed down.

          • I walk around with a can of spray paint and scribble unintelligibly on everything. I’m a f*ck*ng hero.

  2. The muralists forgot to include something in the mural that might have rendered it graffiti-proof: the Virgin Mary.


  3. The Virgin Mary is a blessing for all believers! Sadly, the tagging will continue due to lack of
    cultural awareness, respect, lack of self-esteem, no moral fabric, ignorance, and poor parenting!
    Just a few mentionables.

  4. From my perspective (I’m on Figueroa and Avenue 54) there are about 3 different tagging crews in the neighborhood that pretty much bomb the hell out of anything nice. The NEG crew seems to be the most prevalent but there are some SLK’s and a the occasional random one.

    When you call the police saying that you see them tagging it’s about the 25th level priority for them to deal with. I don’t want to say that it’s wrong to place the many other issues the LAPD deals with below this but the reality is that none of these fools is getting stopped, arrested, charged or punished for destroying the aesthetic of our neighborhood.

    Using a ‘gang injunction’ really isn’t the right pathway since the police are not going to move this into their areas of importance when they have other drama to deal with. In the end, we are talking about boys that are 12-25 years old and who are using this as a way to feel important.

    My suggestion is to create a public shaming about the people that do this. How about some public discussion about the people that do this, out them individually as being clueless fools and make it known to the youth of the area that their neighbors don’t want, need, enjoy, or encourage the ceaseless tagging and bullshit scrawls they put up?

  5. In regards to the comment about poverty wages and working long hours. Most of us come from immigrant families that came to America and worked long, hard hours at low wages while trying to learn a language, survive on little, and raise a family on barely nothing. Poverty and hard work is not the excuse. A lack of proper parenting is the reason these kids are out tagging. I know plenty of hard working folks that only have to give their kid the evil eye and they know not to cross their parents. Get real. Poor parents can be equally involved and influential in raising their kids, but they have to be INVOLVED. Is it difficult after a very long day/night of working? YES, but if you don’t have time to raise your kids, don’t have them. These taggers are just crying out to be someone, to be noticed, to be important. If their parents tended to them with care and some tough love, they wouldn’t need to write their name all over the hood.

  6. I tend to agree with Alex K , but its a complicated issue, and has a foundation culturally in the HP neighborhood. Its especially frustrating when the tagging occurs over something that is a positive artistic expression. I always thought the public removing of a finger would be a very good way to discourage taggers. Starting with the little finger. I am kidding of course but I like the idea in an abstract sense.

  7. According to past stories about tagging in LA, it isn’t always gangsters or kids, there are grown vandalizing LA. Do you remember the kitten tags on 110 and 101, that dude was a 31 year-old graphic designer. Some how we need to give people places to express their “creativeness” without damage others.

    • That graphic designer was a very prolific tagger “Atlas” who had been tagging Los Angeles for at least a decade before he started painting the cats.

    • @Patrick

      “Some how we need to give people places to express their “creativeness” without damage others.”

      We don’t need to give them anything.

      They need to learn self control and respect of other’s property.

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