It may not be Banksy, but it’s still pretty cool to see local merchants reaching out to the community to pre-emptively cover their walls with something that connects with the local community.

I was out for a walk, and stumbled across this guy at the corner of Venice & Thurman, with a cardboard box next to him full of battered spray cans all missing their nozzles.


Turns out the storeowner (who took over the space from a rather creepy pseudo-psychic), saw that other shops in the area were constantly fighting the battle against taggers, and wanted to try to stave off the constant whack-a-mole struggle against idiotic and barely readable slogans. The illustration here is the artist’s interpretation of the store’s contents – it’s a medical supply outlet, and one of their big products for the aging population in this area are the comfy mechanical beds for all the former manual laborers nursing their aching backs.

Thus the whole “Stairway to Heaven” motif here. The rather creepy-eyed girl in the center of this part of the installation is working the controls for the beds/chairs/scooters this place sells. Next to her is the stairway, and then floating off into the clouds are the people who’ve bought the goods in this store, and are now in lower-back heaven. Which is kinda cool & inventive, actually.

Stairway to Heaven Mural

Just poking above the grass (weeds? I’ve never liked these damn things, but I guess they beat crabgrass/ragweed) on the right-hand side, you can see the head of his son Mario, who was, like, totally bored with his dad’s job. Sheesh. His dad’s a guerilla artist who just got a great commission and is out doing trippy work, and the kid is bagging on him nonstop. Pretty high bar to clear – what would be impressive? Watching dad play with numbers in an actuarial spreadsheet?

I guess whatever it is that you do, after a while, those closest to you grow accustomed to it & it becomes old hat.