Yesterday the arts community in LA was angered and disappointed by the art critics at the LAPD deciding to buff a mural created by NYC legend COPE2 and two rising stars from LA, Vyal and Sand. It’s actually not the first time that Sand’s work has been destroyed on the very same wall– back in February of 2011, Sand did a beautiful mural that was approved by the property owner and supported by the area’s local businesses including Conart, MonicaMichelle,, and Legends Barbershop. It was only up for a short time before the wall was returned to an unsightly beige. Apparently, the Sheriff’s Department told Sand that her mural was “offensive to the community.”

Palomino Beige is the color of the New World Order – Saber

For those who don’t understand the issue, the problem isn’t just that works of art are being destroyed, it’s that some works of art are being destroyed. Who decides what is “offensive to the community”? The job description of the city’s graffiti abatement crews does not, and should not, include art criticism. The fact that some murals catch the buff and others don’t brings up many issues that the city really shouldn’t want to delve into– such as, is the City threatened by images celebrating women who aren’t the Virgen of Guadalupe? Are COPE2’s bubble letters provocative while the abstract forms of another artist are not? Would a mural by Chaz Bojorquez be allowed to stay up as long as one by Kent Twitchell? Selective enforcement of an already unclear and unjust law hurts even the legitimate cause of keeping neighborhoods clean and consistent with neighborhood values.

Photo by Ericka Jimenez.