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Obama mural a sign of the times -- and the L.A. Times

Art or nuisance? You be the judge.

The Obama mural on an alley fence behind a house at 303 Galapago Street has a new fan: the Los Angeles Times. Taking off from my column of last week, Times reporter Nicholas Riccardi describes how sixteen-year-old Paul Trujillo and two friends were so inspired by the Democratic National Convention that they decided to create something inspiring on a fence that had already been sullied by taggers. Their is-it-art efforts caught the attention of, well, me, and in response to my query about whether the mural would qualify as art rather than a political sign (which would be limited to no more than eight square feet), the city's Neighborhood Inspection Services sent a cease-and-desist order to Henry and Esther Vigil, who'd raised Paul, their grandson, in that house.

But as Riccardi notes in his story, even though the city gave a deadline of Friday to remove the sign (or at least erase the "Vote" that makes it a political statement), the Vigils can appeal. And the city is so backlogged that it's unlikely their case would come up before the November 4 election -- by which point the "Vote" would be an artistic artifact,rather than a political exhortation.

Save Obama! -- Patricia Calhoun

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