A series of retaining walls on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles have been used as platforms for traditional murals since 1975. Today, however, it is the “technically illegal” graffiti-murals on these same walls that have been tacitly tolerated if not outright accepted by the community. Unlike the sanctioned murals previously painted on these walls by famed Chicano artists Judith Baca and Ernesto De La Loza, Cache and Eye One's Los Angeles: Untitled has not been hit with graffiti or painted over by the city. I argue that such acceptance of these graffiti-murals calls antigraffiti laws into question and challenges the notion that particular aesthetic acts are either in or out of place. I provide a short history of the Sunset walls, showing how they have become a centerpiece around which discussions of urban change and changing perspectives of legal aesthetics can take place.
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Stefano Bloch; The Illegal Face of Wall Space: Graffiti-Murals on the Sunset Boulevard Retaining Walls. Radical History Review 1 May 2012; 2012 (113): 111–126. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-1504930
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