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'The Heart Of Skid Row' Mural Debuts In (Where Else?) Skid Row

a man in sunglasses and a wide-brimmed straw hat stands in front of a giant mural with a red heart and blue, yellow and purple cartoon faces
American painter and street artist Kenny Scharf stands in front of his latest work, a mural titled "The Heart of Skid Row," which was unveiled on July 19, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images)
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A new 66-foot mural, "The Heart of Skid Row," was unveiled today outside the Los Angeles Mission in downtown Los Angeles. Local artist Kenny Scharf, who was part of New York's East Village art scene in the 1980s, painted the mural over the course of five days, working from a cherry picker on the corner of Wall and Winston streets in the Toy District.

The mural features brightly colored figures with cartoonish faces, and a smiling red heart at the center. Eli Graham chairs the L.A. Mission Arts Council, and contacted Scharf about the project.

"This is a magical and touching moment for Skid Row that we will all hopefully see as a light in this area to shine on the unhoused community and to grow needed assistance in this area," Graham said.

Graham says the L.A. Mission is looking to add more murals to the building in the future.

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There are also plans to feature the work of artist Kevin Kidd, who lives on Skid Row, inside the shelter. That came about because Kidd saw the mural being painted last week then introduced himself to Scharf and to L.A. Mission staff.

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