Los Angeles

Downtown Foster the People Mural Painted Over

Mayor Eric Garcetti's office has offered the band another space downtown to commission a new mural

A downtown Los Angeles mural commissioned by the band Foster the People will be painted over, weeks after a social media campaign temporarily saved the artwork and got the mayor’s office involved.

Because of a state law that gives historic buildings tax credits to maintain their original designs, the mural on the side of the Santa Fe Lofts building at 539 S. Los Angeles St. must be removed, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday in a joint statement with the band and the building's owner, Capital Foresight.

But fans can look forward to a new downtown mural that Garcetti's office and Capital Foresight will help the band create, Garcetti said.

"We all agree that public art is part of what makes L.A. great," he said in the statement.

Details of the new mural will be announced at a later date, but the band's lead singer Mark Foster has already invited fans to help paint it.

"I would love for all of you to get involved in putting this new work on the wall so we can all experience creating something together," Foster said in a statement Friday.

Foster said Garcetti's office offered the band a new space in the city for a more long-lasting mural, and Foster plans to assemble a team of local artists to design it.

The original mural is a massive version of the colorful, surrealist artwork on the band's "Supermodel" album cover. Its creation in January was documented in a time-lapse music video for one of the album’s songs, "Coming of Age."

The mural was first scheduled to be painted over July 14 under a city rule that does not allow murals containing advertisements, and because the building’s owner said the artist never got the proper permits to paint it.

Foster the People fans and public art supporters started an online campaign to save the mural. Garcetti's office intervened in the artwork's removal, reaching out to the building's owner to mediate.

"It literally kind of blew up. It started a fire that burned a lot quicker than any of us expected," band member Cubbie Fink told NBC4 in July.

In his statement on Friday, Foster asked fans to respect the mural’s removal and "be graceful about this transition."

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