Monday, March 13, 2006

The wrong to write.

Driving down Los Angeles' Soto Street a few weeks ago, I was overjoyed to see the corner of Cesar Chavez Blvd. with a restored "Corrido De Boyle Heights". I couldn't stop that day, nor any day until recently, when I could grab a few tacos at the King Taco across the street, and shoot the mural. Above is a "stitched" image. Too late. Taggers had already hit the panel behind the bus bench. But all in all, I should be grateful for small pleasures. Here's what part of the mural looked like until a few weeks ago:

That broke my heart, seeing the piece all tagged and mucked up. These pendejos couldn't take the joy out of the work, but dang, did they have to do that? And over a couple years, it grew worse and uglier. For years, years, and years, the mural stood untouched by most pendejos. 2004 its debasement began.

Recently, I posted the restored image at, a Yahoo group, eliciting a conversation I thought La Bloga visitors might enjoy. The post is "sanitized" for email addresses, otherwise unedited.

Writers alert: see blurb below the arte dialog.

First of all to give the term "Graffiti Artist" to these morons is a slap in the face to real graffiti artist. These guys are vandals and defacers. Today in the news was a story about some poor guy that was taking down a license plate number of some criminals with spray cans and was shot and killed. Some of the same medicine turned on them would be cool.....Serg

Hiroko Falkenstein wrote:

Victor, how do we get people to stop defacing the murals, it would be great if there was a solution, my only idea would be if we could have areas like the LA and San Diego River to use the sides of as big canvases where graffiti/murals could be painted by anyone interested, it might elevate some of the destruction to existing murals, it might give the people who feel excluded, a place where they could be included in a positive way. The people who deface the murals just to be bastards, will be hard to reach, I don�t get it, do they think they are putting a moustache on the Mona Lisa?, Maybe if there is a big fine along with the felony, and the money used to restore the damage done maybe a partial solution, the saddest thing about the defacement of Chicano Murals is its probably not being done by a bunch of white racist skinheads, its being done by people in our own neighborhoods as gang tags and territory marking. I agree the murals are like open history books of knowledge, unfortunately to many people want to drop out of school............2GS

-----Original Message-----
From: vochoa

MR...MFA know what sucks... is that you are temporary... and if i saw you graffing public art (i think you would be more temporary).... im into restoration of chicano art... you know juat i mean????...i have been painting chicano murals for almost cuarenta anios.... and i do graff tambien...i started permission walls here in dago and tijuas...look at ...

just like they still dont teach us about our culture... the chicano murals are like open books to knowledge..and ISSUES OF OUR SITUATION HERE IN AZTLAN... art is not only beauty a flower that blooms..essssseee..... give me a break and respect us OLD SCHOOL.... I respect graffiti artists...especially if they do more than their PLACAZO... or name PIECE OR TAG.... i have been working with james prigoff for over 3 decades on the documenting graff all over the world, last year in


look up nathan zakheim and read about

que viva el arte publico!!!! por siempre... !!!! y que.

victor ochoa.... or look at

ps... even in electronika medium... we are trying to archive images man.... look at the caridad collections in the library in santa barbara... chicano archives y electronika... man... think of the future ese.

-------------- Original message from Armando Somoza
That's too bad. As a graffiti artist, I always get angry when my work gets written over. But this is also part of the beauty of public art, everything is temporary. This means it allows for space to do something new and beautiful.
Now, with all art theory aside, that does SUCK!! :)~

Armando B. Somoza
MFA Candidate in Electronic Media Art and Design
University of Denver
Denver, CO

On Mar 12, 2006, at 9:20 AM, michael sedano wrote:

i carry my camera with me but at that hour i would've gotten a nice atmosphere shot and little else. otoh, i fantacized stopping, snapping off a few frames, then having a big fistfight with the vato where he ends up with a spray can up the fundio and i emerge without a scratch.Serg Hernandez wrote:

I hate that shit those morons have no respect for anything or anyone....I know it probably wasn't possible but it would have been nice to get this morons license plate number......Serg

michael sedano wrote:
> I was driving to work before dawn this a.m. and saw a car parked next to the big wall on the 110 S, the soccer mural. As I slowed to see if there was a problem I saw a tall person spraying a placa. Pendejo. On the other hand, a few months back, I posted a photo of "El Corrido de Boyle Heights" on the corner of Soto and CC. The other day, I drove past and saw it had been all cleaned up. The disfiguring placazos had been replaced by the whole image. I couldn't take a picture. So today on the way home I was too late. Some pendejos had already tagged the mural. Still, it's good to see the piece whole again, que no?

Read! Raza Announces Public Writer's Pages

Email flash fiction, up to 1000 words, to and your work will be considered for publication at Read! Raza's Community Pages, a free-for-most link to independent chicana chicano and others artwork.

Until next time, nos vemos. And let's hear it for short work.


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