Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Short Life of Some Pasadena Street Art

The artist is named Cali Killa.  Probably not his birth name.  I had never heard of him.  He's a street artist whose work was briefly displayed here in Pasadena.

I have heard of Banksy.  Banksy is also a street artist.  I've never seen any Banksys in Pasadena.   I've noticed other art on my walks around town.  The boy trying to catch a missile with a baseball glove was probably the best.   The huge mural of the old woman's face was pretty neat but that was in Los Angeles.

I discovered Cali Killer's piece on Raymond Avenue, just around the corner from the Fillmore Gold Line station.  The date was May 29.  The low brick building looks abandoned.  There are sometimes people sitting nearby who I suspect might be homeless.  The land is probably pretty valuable considering its proximity to the light rail and to the hospital.  Commuters can pay to park in the adjacent lot.

(Click on any picture to enlarge it.)

The wording on the book held by the young lady in the hoodie is "How to make it in Los Angeles by Cali Killa".   She's also holding what looks like a rifle.  Great art naturally lends itself to many different interpretations.  My first thought was that the artist was telling us that one needs lethal weapons to make it in L.A.

Here's the wider view so you can see the piece in context.

On June 12, two weeks later, I passed the same spot.  Cali Killa's piece had been covered in black paint.

Also interesting: someone had made a little sculpture on the bus bench out of an old rug and a pair of crutches.

I wonder why the art was blacked out.  Maybe Cali considers his works temporary and he himself returned to Pasadena to paint it over.  Maybe the building actually does get minimal maintenance.  Maybe someone was offended by the notion that you need a weapon to succeed in Los Angeles.  Maybe another street artist considers that building his turf and wanted to send Cali Killa a message to stay away.  We'll never know for sure.

If you want to hear Cali Killa talk about his work, there's this video.

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