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. graffiti%20house%201.jpg 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. GR-house-002.jpg 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.” GR-house-003.jpg 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. GR-house-004.jpg Unfortunately, the resulting creation
is no longer on display on the upper Eastside, but those who missed
the chance can see more shots at


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