Sorry, Foster The People: The City Doesn't Want Your Mural Downtown [Updated]
It's been less than six months since Foster the People commissioned a gigantic mural to be painted alongside a downtown building. And now city officials are forcing the rock band to take their artwork down by July 14.
Sure, we may have gotten sick of hearing "Pumped Up Kicks" one too many times, but that's not the reason the city is doing this. The 125-by-150-foot painting, which is located at 539 S. Los Angeles St. is an exact replica of the band's album cover for their "Supermodel" release in March. Foster the People's frontman Mark Foster wrote in a statement today, "The permits that we were told were approved, have retroactively been denied due to a number of issues involving the building and the city."
He didn't discuss why the permits were denied, but the L.A. Times reported that it may have had something to do with the city's regulations on not having advertisements as murals. There's been an ongoing debate between local residents on whether the mural is a piece of art, or a straight-up ad.
Foster also expressed how upset he was about it: "This news has come as a surprise and disappointment to me and everyone else that collaborated on making this project happen. This mural was our contribution to the city of Los Angeles - our kiss of color to the city we love."
The band had performed in front of the completed mural (which was designed by an L.A.-based graphic artist, Young & Sick) on Jan. 23, and during the time of his performance, Foster talked about how he wanted to make the neighborhood more beautiful with this mural.
Foster the People will be painting over the mural on July 14 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and asked people to come by to talk about art, music and community with them.
Here is a video of the mural going up:
UPDATE July 14, 10:40 a.m.: Thanks to Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Foster the People mural will stay up. After fans signed a petition to keep up the artwork (which had over 12,000 signatures), and also voiced their concerns to Garcetti through social media, the mayor made sure that the wall wouldn't be painted over, reported NBC Los Angeles.
The band tweeted out these messages when they received the news:
Foster added that the band would still be filming and handing out posters at the building today from 12 pm to 4 p.m.