I am not sure how many bands do that, how many bands feel they are entitled to have their own mural in the city they live in? It’s different when the mural is made by another person as a homage, but this is not the case here.
A mural replicating the cover of Foster the People’s latest album ‘Supermodel’ went up last January downtown Los Angeles as part of a free performance by the band ahead of the March release of the album. Frontman Mark Foster said that the mural ‘was created as his way of giving something back to the city of Los Angeles, and the downtown area where Foster lives’… sure but it is his album cover, a sort of 125 x 150 foot advertisement, and some people may not be fans or not like them at all? It is a sort of huge psychedelic blue turquoise thing and may be just a bit overwhelming if you live in the neighborhood… I don’t know, a big pedantic may be?
To illustrate how detached from reality people can be, this is what Foster declared in a statement when city officials told him it was over and the wall had to come down:
‘Our Supermodel mural must come down by July 14th. This news has come as a surprise and disappointment to me and everyone else that collaborated on making this project happen. This mural was our contribution to the city of Los Angeles – our kiss of color to the city we love. The permits that we were told were approved, have retroactively been denied due to a number of issues involving the building and the city.’
Well, you had it for six months, this was a great ride, be happy with that already. But Foster was totally convinced it is great art:
‘There’s a lot of people who live down here, who walk past or ride the bus to work past that wall every day. They have no idea who we are, but they’re going to be able to see a piece of art that’s making their neighborhood more beautiful, even if they never listen to the band.’
‘Never did I think I would be involved in creating an art piece of this scale and magnitude. We feel truly honored to have been able to share it with you over the last year. Art brings to life things that can seemingly be dead, and can put a fresh perspective on things that are living. It’s so important we keep creating.’
Okay, it wasn’t Van Gogh’s Starry Night to me – I am just saying this because it’s blue and was created by Dutch artist Young & Sick – get over it! But Foster the People has lots of fans and they launched a petition to save the mural which apparently received enough signatures (more than 12,000) to save this great piece of art.
‘We just received a call from the mayor’s office, @EricGarcetti saw your petition and decided against repainting the wall. The Mural Stays!’ tweeted the band.
The problem is not the art, the problem is this is self promotion rather than art… Sure there is no big ‘Foster the People’ written all over it, but when you see this mural, honestly do you think about the artists who painted it? or to Foster the People’s album? I guess the answer is clear, even people who don’t know the band and the album, will eventually make the connection if they see it every day.
But I am sure this victory pleases mayor Garcetti, he is really into these kinds of things, he sold his Silver Lake house to M83’s Anthony Gonzalez and is hanging out with Jay Z (he is responsible for this Budweiser Made in America music festival downtown LA this summer!)… So our hipster major (it’s not me saying!) is probably very happy.
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1972 (Volume 4, Number 5)
We leap ahead almost a year
A flatout triumph from a major performer
New Wave pop bliss out
I WISH I HADN’T GONE
a time-capsule type of roster
Creem -America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1971 (Volume 3, Number 6)
“Sure, we don’t pay much but then who else do ya know who’ll publish you?”
in the immortal words of Jason Isbell to me at Gov Ball a coupla years ago: “let’s do this…”
one of the great top tens of the 2020
old school Puerto Rican underground sounds
a masterful pop about loving a drug addict