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Making The West Hollywood Library Murals: Documentaries By Art In The Streets

Making The West Hollywood Library Murals

If you haven’t heard, the West Hollywood Library has three amazing, unique murals: a Shepard Fairey, a RETNA, and a Kenny Scharf. Each mural covers a different side of the library, save for the San Vincente entrance. But, how were they made? What was the process? Luckily, MOCA and Cadillac sponsored a video series of quick documentaries that give you a look into Fairey, RETNA, and Scharf’s artistic processes. Whether it is meticulously planned or completely spontaneous improvisation, each artist has a unique process that is very representative of their work.

Filmmaker Sage Seb followed each artist over the process of their creating their pieces, showing the before, during, and after. It’s really remarkable to see Shepard Fairey and his giant crew working on scaffolding to create his biggest piece ever. This is fascinating when compared to RETNA, who works by himself, with one large brush, creating a vocabulary of his own that seems as if it were crying, all atop of a long scaffolding. Scharf, unlike both of them, completely wings everything letting the space speak to him instead of planning anything beforehand: his process is just as playful as his characters. The artists’ works tie closely to their process, which makes these pieces great to watch–especially since you usually don’t hear from these artists. The short documentaries were a part of the now closed Art In The Streets exhibit but, if the videos are indication of anything, it’s that more process videos are bound to be popping up as more artists create larger pieces around town.

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