By: Elizabeth Schwyzer
When artists Brian Andreas and Ellen Rockne bought the squat, single-story, avocado green house on Pedregosa Street, they were already envisioning quite a different future for the property. Last week, they began demolition of the existing structure in order to clear the ground for a new eco-home — an environmentally friendly, factory-built, modular home. Shortly before tearing into the stucco of the existing house that’s been serving as Andreas’s art studio, the couple decided to gather a group of visual artists to transform the walls into a series of vivid murals inspired by the concept Portraits of the Future.
Andreas contacted Fishbon — a loose group of artists, engineers, writers, designers, and musicians who meet regularly in the Funk Zone — and invited its members to show up at the property on New Year’s Day, ready to paint. The group of artists who took brushes, rollers, and spray paint cans to the sides of the studio ranged in age from 10 to 80 and came from near and far — some traveling from the East Coast to take part.
One participant, a member of an L.A. clothing and graffiti collective, called the event “a totally positive experience. It makes you wish this would happen whenever there was a house ready for demolition.” Andreas, whose line of paintings and sculptures called StoryPeople has spread internationally, noted the fun involved in indulging “the rebellious impulse of drawing on the wall, and the deeper impulse of creating, even in the face of imminent destruction. We got to do wild work.”
Andreas was especially tickled when a city anti-graffiti agent arrived to deliver a warning. But with the wrecking ball swinging the next day, it was a moot point. Unfortunately, the resulting creation is no longer on display on the upper Eastside, but those who missed the chance can see more shots at independent.com.