The artwork, commissioned in 1984, was painted over sometime last month — during Women’s History Month. But... what was painted over isn't artwork you see above.
The mural is among a long list of L.A. artworks, including several other Olympic scenes, that have been whitewashed across the city in violation of federal and state laws.
Like other artists, Baca said she is considering legal action against the agency she thinks is responsible: the California Department of Transportation.
“A mural of that size is worth millions and millions of dollars,” said Brooke Oliver, Baca’s attorney. “It is reprehensible that Caltrans doesn’t recognize that it is a tremendously valuable and revered mural in a high-profile place in Los Angeles and doesn’t give it the respect that it deserves.”
But Caltrans insists it is not the culprit and says the agency is willing to work with Baca to restore the artwork.
At first Baca, who is a professor emeritus at UCLA and the founder of the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARK), blamed Caltrans for the whitewashing, saying she was considering legal action. Caltrans insisted that they had nothing to do with it.
"This is a 35-foot high mural," Baca told KPCC. "To put a coat of paint on that requires equipment and ladders and scaffolding...it's just not possible that Caltrans would not be aware of this kind of a production. It was a major undertaking and expensive."
She said that covering a mural of that scale would cost thousands of dollars.
But on Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) took full responsibility for the re-painting via a statement to KPCC/LAist, admitting that one of their abatement contractors had painted over it on February 26, because of what they describe as "extensive graffiti."
It had already been destroyed by graffiti taggers with their bullshit ugly bubble names of no artistic merit. How do I say that? I've posted hundreds of pieces of graffiti that is awesome, and artistic, and Banksy... that's how. I even love cave art and petroglyphs
Here's the timeline of this public art mural, smeared over by shit.
Whatever that garbage is, it ain't worth being on a wall in public sight.