Artist to whitewash Silver Lake’s “Bates Motel” [correction]

Rendering of Projection | Vincent Lamouroux


The Sunset Pacific Motel – aka Bates Motel – before it’s turned into an art project.

SILVER LAKE —  The transformation of the boarded up Sunset Pacific Motel – aka the Bates Motel – into a conceptual art piece is scheduled to take place next month when a French artist will spray the entire building – as well as the adjacent palm trees and billboard – in a ghostly coat of opaque limewash.

Projection, which is described as a “temporal intervention into an iconic piece of LA’s architectural history and urban lore,” will last only two weeks, with an opening date scheduled for April 26, according to an announcement issued on Wednesday.  The two-week long project was conceived by Vincent Lamouroux, who used a similar concept in a Paris park, where several large clumps of trees were turned snow white

The owners of the three-story motel at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Bates Street plan to eventually demolish the structure to make way for one of three large apartment buildings.  But an official for the developer said they have given Lamoruoux permission to use the property as an art project as long as the necessary permits are obtained.

What’s the point of Projection? Says the press release:

Just as the Silver Lake neighborhood itself has transformed radically in recent years, an continues to evolve, so to will the artist’s iteration of the motel embody a transformation, surrendering and passage; the white surface of its facade will be a symbolic invitation to project our ideas about both its mythic past and its indeterminate future.

The limewash is described as an “ecologically safe” material that will eventually erode and fade away.

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council has approved spending $913 for the opening reception and has been asked for $647 for workshops at the Silver Lake Jewish Community Center, which is across the street from the motel. In addition, the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council is supporting the project with $1,600 for the opening event and workshops at Thomas Starr King Middle School.

Correction: A previous version of this story said that the  Silver Lake Neighborhood Council had allocated $3,000 in support of the project. That’s wrong. The council has approved spending $913 for the opening reception and has been asked for $647 for workshops at the Silver Lake Jewish Community Center, said Jessica McCormack, who is working on the project.


  1. Is it already April 1st?

  2. Oh what a perfectly white blank canvas for all the taggers!

  3. Awesome. Love this idea!

  4. Pretty cool! Way to keep the structure alive, great idea.

  5. why can’t it be black??

  6. While I like the idea of using this location as an art piece, the Bates Motel is next door to a preschool where young children play outside all day. I am concerned about the possibility that small children will be exposed to toxic chemicals in the whitewash due to this project.

    • silverlakeartist

      From the article: <>

      In addition, not only has the ecological component been completely vetted with numerous City agencies and the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, the project is also completely supported and encouraged by the adjacent preschool.

  7. I read elsewhere that his lime wash mix contains WHEAT FLOUR. I’m sorry, but in a majority gluten free community, and next to a school no less this feels not only insensitive to me but also potentially dangerous.

  8. Can’t wait to see the cool graff that shows up on all that whitewash!!!

  9. Honestly I don’t understand if it is a purposeful provocation on the part of the artist or if he truly isn’t aware of the cultural sensitivities of the community he is wishing to engage with with this PUBLIC art piece. I find it suspicious that in previous press pieces on this work the use of wheat flour was admitted to whereas it seems to conveniently not be mentioned in this later bit of press…….

  10. Why doesn’t the artist just whitewash his poop? That way he could leave Silver Lake alone!

  11. Clearly a project by the gluten industrial complex! Monsanto?


  12. everything goes better with a twist of limewash

  13. Why do they have to bribe the Silver Lake Jewish Community Center?
    Why not send ALL the money Thomas Starr King Middle School?

  14. Let’s be honest, Anything done to that eyesore will be an improvement!

  15. It seems pretty cool to me. My big annoyance, though, is how is it possible a PR person can make two spelling errors in a one sentence press release?

  16. Those are beautiful palm trees home to hundreds of beings. Humans are indeed a disgrace.

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