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"ReVoluTion tOEvoLutioN"
A destroyed mural on the streets of Los Angeles - Mark Vallen
Emiliano Zapata mural prior to it's destruction
Emiliano Zapata mural prior to it's destruction
Emiliano Zapata mural prior to it's destruction
Emiliano Zapata mural prior to it's destruction

The large mural portrayed in these photographs was titled Revolution to Evolution, and the work used to be located in the Latino working class neighborhood of Westlake (right on the corner of 6th and Westlake). The great Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata has long been upheld as a hero and model figure for the Chicano/Mexicano peoples of Los Angeles, and artist Hector Ponce's mural was a source of community pride and spirit. But the state bureaucracy saw only a mural painted without an appropriate permit. The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety declared the mural to be an "illegal sign" and scheduled it for destruction.

Ponces included in his mural an image of the contemporary guerilla leader Comandante Marcos of Chiapas Mexico. Perhaps that living symbol of resistance made the mural unacceptable to conservative forces.

At any rate the "Department of Building and Safety" viewed Zapata's sombrero as an "illegal sign"... and since a permit was not applied for by the artist, the mural was destroyed! The destruction of the mural constitutes a crime against art and the people. There is some irony in the state's declaration that the mural's 3D component (the sombrero), constituted an "illegal sign"... because with the painting over of the mural all that is left is the sombrero!

Hideous billboards that glut and degrade our communities with advertising for liquor, tobacco, polluting cars, mindless entertainment, and the exploitation of women, are considered "legal" and "permitted." At the same time a socially conscious mural like Ponces' is considered "illegal."

Image of Comandante Marcos before being destroyed
Image of Comandante Marcos before being destroyed
Image of Comandante Marcos before being destroyed
Image of Comandante Marcos before being destroyed
The mural destroyed The mural destroyed

Bureaucrats prefer gray walls and permits to art and poetry. While Ponces' mural is no more, others will rise... LET A THOUSAND MURALS BLOOM!

Photos by Walter Lippmann.

Lippmann also has a gallery of photos from his trip to Cuba posted at the following url; www.walterlippmann.com

www.art-for-a-change.com is owned and operated by Mark Vallen . All text by Mark Vallen.