Miscommunication may have led to painting over $2,500 mural at ...

Full story: Pasadena Star-News

It was hard for artist Christian Aldereteto describe his feelings Monday after seeing a blank wall where he had recently completed a colorful 60-foot city funded mural on a Northwest Pasadena storefront.
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1 - 20 of 51 Comments Last updated Dec 7, 2009
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keith

Los Angeles, CA

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#1
Nov 30, 2009
 
This was either gross stupidity on the part of the person who painted over the mural, or it was done deliberately, with malicious intent. "Miscommunication" -- give me a break!
dave9

Santa Monica, CA

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#2
Dec 1, 2009
 
Artists don't get any respect for their murals, first Kent Twitchell's Ed Ruscha and now this...
John Grunwell

Washington, DC

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#3
Dec 1, 2009
 
This sucks for Mr. Alderete.. However, what's worse is the paltry sum that he was paid for this rather large project. Perhaps Mr. Alderete was pleased with the fee, but $2500 is a pittance for a man who worked for weeks with more than two dozen children to produce something that the community may have admired for decades. Producing a mural takes a great deal of mental energy and physical stamina. It is sad that public art is so underfunded, although of course we should be thankful that it gets any money whatsoever.
Laterz

United States

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#4
Dec 1, 2009
 
That's not cool.
Bill Davis

Culver City, CA

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#5
Dec 1, 2009
 
What really sucks is the mural itself. Why is it necessary to paint a myan themed mural in northwest pasadena anyway? All these murals do is cheepen the neighborhood and the larger city.
Am Staff

Buena Park, CA

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#6
Dec 1, 2009
 
Frankly, I am impressed with Code Enforcement passing the buck of "miscommunication" onto the owner of the property and then only to have the Mural person claim breach of contract because of Code Enforcement "non-specific" removal order.

why, if i didn't have a bum leg right now....
Lou

Arcadia, CA

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#7
Dec 1, 2009
 
Based upon his rendering, this mural was not that attractive. A whole wall of faux Mayan gaudiness? And in Northwest Pasadena, an area that is already rife with racial problems. I am with Mr. Davis.

Painting over it would not have been "cool", but it should never have gone up in the first place. And the article made it sound as though he was going before the city for approval after the mural had been completed.???

Who approves the city funding for these "art" projects?
Art

United States

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#8
Dec 1, 2009
 
The mural was worth much more than the $2500, material funding and donated labor was also provided by several local organizations: East LA CAMP, the Arroyo Seco Foundation and Outward Bound Los Angeles.

More than 30 local kids helped paint it, as well as gang members and taggers who were taught about art as well as watershed/environmental education.

The main character of the mural, Tlaloc, is a deity representing water and rain, and is juxtapositioned against the Arroyo Seco river. The mural was part of a watershed and environmental education campaign that taught thousands of kids/locals on the subject at schools and neighborhoods along the Arroyo Seco from Pasadena to Lincoln Heights. There is a similar mural on SF road near division street in Cypress Park, as well as another water themed mural on the Ave 26 offramp of the pasadena freeway.

The murals were intended to beautify the area while educating locals about watersheds. The indigenous theme was chosen after conducting several watershed workshops in the area, and concluding what worked to get the kids' excited about the subjects.

People are asked to help pitch in for a new mural that will definitely not be erased:
www.elacamp.org
Bill Davis

Culver City, CA

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#9
Dec 1, 2009
 
"The indigenous theme was chosen after conducting several watershed workshops in the area."

At what point in our Valley's history were there Mayan's living in Pasadena and the Arroyo? Who ran these "watershed workshops" and thinks that Mayan art fits Pasadena? A true to our history indigenous theme would have had Gabrieleno, Tongva and Chumash indians, not Mayans. Lets be real about history in art and not just rubber stamp all of these home grown and out of context paintings which are then called art.
Art

United States

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#10
Dec 1, 2009
 
Bill Davis wrote:
"The indigenous theme was chosen after conducting several watershed workshops in the area."
At what point in our Valley's history were there Mayan's living in Pasadena and the Arroyo? Who ran these "watershed workshops" and thinks that Mayan art fits Pasadena? A true to our history indigenous theme would have had Gabrieleno, Tongva and Chumash indians, not Mayans. Lets be real about history in art and not just rubber stamp all of these home grown and out of context paintings which are then called art.
People like you actually think your opinion is worth anything beyond ignoring, which is really sad. Go be a bitter loser somewhere else, your culture war BS is not productive in a story about a mural being painted over. The fact that you think a tagged up wall with mismatched peeling paint is better than a piece of art says a lot about your biases, the fact that you feel the need to continually respond with your unhappy nonsense is pathetic.

What have you done to improve this area, beyond bitter griping? There are thousands of kids who are now aware of the Arroyo Seco, to not litter since their trash will go into the Arroyo Seco, and that watershed management has been an important aspect of survival in this continent for millenia, which tlaloc illustrates. If you are so concerned abou the tongva being represented then pony up some funding to paint a tongva themed watershed mural, otherwise shut your miserable yap.

PS, read the story and look at the pictures. There are black and brown kids painting together in harmony. The snake on the top area is a bantu water serpent, representative of water management in Africa as well. The mural theme shows 2 distinct cultural representations of water, and was used to illustrate the importance of water management and environmental stewardship among the 2 major demographics residing in NW pasadena. Since more locals are related to the aztec-mayan and bantu ethnicities than tongva, the specific characters were appropriate. but they were taught about the tongva nation as well, while you were sitting on the web being an armchair warrior griping about something else.
Bill Davis

Culver City, CA

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#11
Dec 1, 2009
 
Well now, there it is.

When someone, like Art in the post above, has nothing of substance to contribute they always turn to attacking, name calling and cursing. He knows I am correct and just cannot stand it. He knows all about Mayan culture and nothing about Pasadena. Art needs to stay in Anaheim and mind his own business. BTW, I live in Pasadena.
itshould

Montebello, CA

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#12
Dec 1, 2009
 
it's not a mural - it's graffiti. the mural should come down. the building looks better painted over.
Jumping Jim

Pleasanton, CA

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#13
Dec 1, 2009
 
Yuck, how can anyone call that art.
Art

United States

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#14
Dec 1, 2009
 
Bill Davis wrote:
Well now, there it is.
When someone, like Art in the post above, has nothing of substance to contribute they always turn to attacking, name calling and cursing. He knows I am correct and just cannot stand it. He knows all about Mayan culture and nothing about Pasadena. Art needs to stay in Anaheim and mind his own business. BTW, I live in Pasadena.
Call a whaaambulance, quick!

Your comments have nothing productive in them. You are complaining about a piece of art because you dont like things mayan-aztec, much like many of the trolls who peruse this forum with nothing but minority bashing nonsense. Please dont act like you had some valid gripe, because you didnt. I was educating kids about environmental stewardship and cleaning up YOUR CITY from graffiti while you were trolling this forum finding things latino to complain about. Be honest.

Your comments and activities are the MO of your ilk, find a gripe about anything that celebrates another culture and complain complain complain. When an opposing view gets sick of your BS and calls you out on it act like a hurt child who has no idea why they are being attacked.

Like I said, I was cleaning graffiti and trash up in YOUR COMMUNITY, and teaching kids about caring for the environment and not to litter, while you sat on the couch doing nothing. BTW, the other artist lives in Pasadena, and I live nearby, the computer gives off odd locations that are incorrect.

Good way to illustrate the stereotypical unhappy old coot, keep up the good work, you trolls seem to be frequenters of these news forums!

“a good community is OUR job”

Since: Mar 09

Pasadena

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#15
Dec 1, 2009
 
Art: I certainly applaud the efforts to teach the children about protecting the watershed. Too many children in our town chuck their trash on the ground without a second thought... to a disgusting degree I have not seen in other places I've lived.

I do think Bill Davis has a good point that I'll restate: if having an indigenous theme was part of the mural's design, it would have been a good idea to include people who are indigenous to this area.

Also, there are many more faces in NW Pas besides black and brown. It would be a good idea to throw in a few other faces. Remember how minorities felt when they were excluded in the past. Now that the demographics have changed, be careful not to repeat the same mistakes. Additionally, fifteen years from now, if that mural still stands, the neighborhood could very likely be more yellow than black or brown.
Ensenada Al

Montebello, CA

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#16
Dec 1, 2009
 
In a time of financial crisis, spending tax dollars on projects like this seems crazy. Take a look at photo 17 of 23 of the photo gallery and you will see the "artists" throwing gang hand signs. Terrific. Thanks Mr. Mayor. Another great Pasadena "art" fiasco.
Marty Micklak

Riverside, CA

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#17
Dec 1, 2009
 
The issue here is that California law requires that an artist be notified months in advance if their mural is going to be removed.

It also sounds like the property owner made an agreement to keep the mural up for at least 5 years and then reneged on that agreement.

It seems like people are more interested in criticizing the mural. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the idea that a mural could satisfy everyone in a community is ludicrous. It's also ridiculous to suggest that a mural needs to depict every group that has ever or will ever live in a community.

I think people are getting hung up on the term "indigenous." A group of people worked together to create a mural that they felt strongly about. That sounds like a worthy effort to me.

P.s. Bill Davis, you seem like a miserable SOB.

“a good community is OUR job”

Since: Mar 09

Pasadena

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#18
Dec 1, 2009
 
Marty Micklak wrote:
I think people are getting hung up on the term "indigenous."
Well, one of the self proclaimed co-artists specifically used that word to describe an underlying intent in the mural's design... and the word itself has a very specific meaning.
Marty Micklak wrote:
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the idea that a mural could satisfy everyone in a community is ludicrous. It's also ridiculous to suggest that a mural needs to depict every group that has ever or will ever live in a community.


A person may have different sized feet, so it's not surprising that shoes fit differently when worn on the other foot.
Pasadena Resident

Los Angeles, CA

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#19
Dec 1, 2009
 
Issue-shmissue...The woman probably panicked at the fear of being fined for zoning violations. Not that what she did was wholly excusable, but give her the benefit of the doubt until she makes a statement.

Now, regarding "Art" vs. Bill Davis: Mayan art is as relevant to Pasadena as any eurocentric or imported art. Don't get me wrong, I like Mayan art, and without it we would not have its influence on Wright's textile block houses, but Mr. Davis is only asking for something more appropriate to the themes of snow melt and rain, to river, to estuary, to ocean that would be more representative to the indigenous people of this small part of Alta California, and more so since you are stating that the art was inspired by indigenous themes.

And don't give me the B.S. that California was once a part of Mexico, because the Mexico of which it was a part was more Eurocentric and classist than anyone in the 91105.
GanstaG

Monterey Park, CA

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#20
Dec 1, 2009
 
About time that ugly-ass sign was taken down. Peace

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