LAistory: Pink Lady of Malibu
On October 28, 1966, commuters between Malibu and the Valley were surprised by the image of a large, running depiction of a naked woman. Sixty feet tall, painted in pink house paint, she was quickly dubbed The Pink Lady.
At first, there was much speculation as to the artist and the purpose of such an image. Due to the subject matter, it was assumed to be a man. It turned out that this mysterious image was created by housewife and secretary Lynn Seemayer, who had sketched her, unnoticed for 3 months before painting her in an 11 hour marathon of work.
She decided to do it for a number of reasons, one being that the tunnel was an eyesore, and that it was always covered in graffiti. Originally, she planned to paint a bird, but this turned out not to be feasible, due to space constraints.
The Pink Lady had a short, controversial life. In fact, the only reason Seemayer came forward as the artist was to spare her creation from destruction.
Two days into her existence, the Pink Lady was deemed a traffic hazard. Immediately, the city began to try to destroy it. Spraying her with fire hoses and rubbing her with paint thinner only seemed to make her shine brighter. It seemed miraculous. But it wasn't enough.
Despite the efforts of Seemayer and other supporters of the Lady, she was brought down on November 4th, 1966 with fourteen gallons of brown paint. For years afterward, her blotted image continued to tantalize the public, making her story into legend as locals told tourists and parents told children of her.