I guess there's a trend around LA with the city finding art pieces to paint over. Philip Lumbang's "Hello bear" mural in Silver Lake will say goodbye after a year of welcoming passers-by to Hipsterville.-
Lumbang was commissioned by the Bates family, who live above the wall, to create a happy greeting which changed from a bear to...a bear, a rabbit, a raccoon, a panda, and a bird. Gasp! How offensive. Apparently a neighbor agreed with the LA Building & Safety Department ordinance that prohibits "illegal public advertising," calling the mural "ghetto." Really? Doesn't look like anything is being advertised except, well, peace, love and furry animals. Lumbang started tagging the bears around Echo Park and Silver Lake last year and as far as we know, the majority of people happened to like the cheery guys. It actually become a sort of iconic spot to take your photo in front of. Bummer. It doesn't help that LA County is like Ebenezer Scrooge with permits for murals.
Lumbang's panda's were also waving to New Yorkers last fall on Bowery and Broome streets... where public art doesn't seem to be such an epic battle. However, Lumbang painted the bears for New York Street Advertising Takeover, a group of artists who paint over illegal advertising on walls plastered with ads by National Promotions Association (NPA City Outdoor).
The mural was set to be covered up July 1, 2010 but the date is being bumped up to April Fools Day, 2010. Funny how art can be shut down so fast, yet LA struggles with getting anything done with illegal billboards across the county. Unless someone chips in to pay the obscene fees to petition its removal, wave your last goodbyes to the bears.