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Mural Remix and the Los Angeles Mural Tradition


Los Angeles is arguably the street art and mural capital of the world. We’ve had the Art In The Streets show at MOCA, the hotly debated mural moratorium, and public art appearing everywhere from street corners to full blocks. Our city has a history inextricably linked with the tradition, which LACMA’s Mural Remix captures with a keen eye.

Mural Remix tells the story of 1970s murals produced in Los Angeles through artist Sandra de la Loza’s playful, yet critical lens. As founder of the Pocho Research Society of Erased and Invisible History, she has pieced together samplings of old murals by “extracting, slicing, and blowing up archival material” to produce new images in this multi-media installation. Her pieces focus on the “constantly shifting glance of Chicano muralism” and appropriates work from a broad range of artists from (her brother) Ernesto de la Loza to Roberto Chavez to unknown muralists in the seventies. The show serves as a mashed-up remixing of history that is a modern moving mural.

The show fits in perfectly with the mural landscape of the city and, in some ways, turns inside out the idea of murals that the Los Angeles government is so frustrated about. Sandra’s work leaves no footprint, can be shown anywhere, and is historical in nature–all things that the city council somehow doesn’t seem to see in this artform. Moreover, it folds technology into the mix in a way no other muralists have really been doing, making it like a drive-in movie of art and (Chicano) mural art history in Los Angeles. Loza’s work also reappropriates works by artists who could fit into shows like Art Along The Hyphen or MEX/LA, mimicking themes and ideas of muralists like John Valdez and David Alfaro Siqueiros (not to mention modern Chicano muralists like Mister Cartoon and Chaz Bojórquez–and even non-Chicano Angeleno muralists like Shepard Fairey and RETNA). The piece is like a kaleidoscope at points, folding imagery onto itself, creating beautifully repeating patterns of light tapestry.

For more on Mural Remix, check out the Pacific Standard Time blog!

Above: Mural Remix, Sandra de la Loza, 2010. Duratans in lightbox. 48 x 48 in. Collection of the artist © Sandra de la Loza.

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