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A Shepard Fairey mural gets a second chance in Echo Park

Apr 29, 2016
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Darby Crash looks out on Duane Street | Jesse Saucedo

ECHO PARK –  It has been seven years since artist Shepard Fairey and photographer Gary Leonard collaborated on a mural of punk rocker Darby Crash.  But shortly after the mural went up on the side of a building at Duane Street and Echo Park Avenue, vandals struck, slathering the mural with streaks of blue paint. Leonard, who owns the building, quickly covered up the 15-foot-high mural with sheets of corrugated metal to protect it from further harm. Today, the sheet metal was finally removed as Fairey worked on a new version of the mural.

The vandalism of 2009 disturbed Leonard, who lives in Echo Park.  “This is extreme, and you might want to say, it’s a violent act toward art,” he said at the time. “That being the case, I just covered it up.”  Fairey had agreed to repair the damage but Leonard said he would leave the mural covered “until things cool down.”

Today, friends and fans Fairey, whose studio is located in Echo Park,  and Leonard  stopped by as a crew worked on the new mural, said Jesse Saucedo, who took photos of the scene.

The mural today looks very similar to the damaged artwork but still features a large image of Crash, which is based on a photo that Leonard took in 1980,  holding a skateboard. A black circle with the words  “What we do is secret” was added to the upper right corner and the word “Obey” in the upper left. On his Obey Giant Instagram account, Fairey wrote “Just finished a new mural on Echo Park Ave, in Los Angeles.”

By the end of the afternoon, however, the mural had been covered up with sheets of canvas. It’s not clear when it will be uncovered.

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Fairey at work on Darby Crash mural | Jesse Saucedo

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Gary Leonard (left) & Shepard Fairey | Jesse Saucedo

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Cecilia Padilla-Brill, Editor
Echo Park Weekly

Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
The Eastsider

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