While murals are not unique to Los Angeles, this large color mural covering the loading dock of the CVS pharmacy in Pacific Palisades certainly caught my eye.
Even the dumpster looks good!
Looking towards the street.
The Clearwater Mural is the work of local artist Terri Bromberg. Originally painted in 1999, it was restored and expanded in 2004 and then later in 2010.
Back in 1978, I painted a similar - although much, much smaller - mural on my High School locker about a mile away - at Palisades High School. This was when Star Wars was still in theaters and was all the rage. I checked with the Vice Principal ahead of time (who said that while he couldn't give me permission, as long as I didn't paint anything offensive, it would be OK). While much more modest in scope, it was a similar labor of love.
Unfortunately, unlike the Clearwater Mural, it didn't have the protection of private security or hidden cameras - and was destroyed within a week. I tried to restore it, but after more vandelism, I just gave up. Yeah, sad.
What can I say? It's really depressing as there are dozens a massive murals around Los Angeles have been destroyed by graffiti. And, of course, the poorer neighborhoods have a disproportionate share of this sort of vandelism.
Fortunately, there are still many amazing murals to be found. But even they have to deal with the elements.
Here's a quick before/after of what thirty years of bright sunshine and rust have done of the nearby "Isle of California" . . .
. . . perhaps the most famous mural in the entire city.
Even the photos on this, and every other website around the world, are simply sitting on some server and won't last forever. That doesn't mean that art and artwork shouldn't be encouraged, celebrated and protected. But even works locked away in museums are, ultimately, temporal.
Many thanks to Terri Bromberg, the sponsors of the Clearwater mural, and the managment of CVS for supporting this project. Here's hoping that it'll be around for my great grandkids' generation to enjoy - 100 years from now.
View Clearwater Mural, Pacific Palisades in a larger map
Here's a map to the Clearwater Mural, located just off of Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades.
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