Three single-family homes that are set for demolition have been painted a screaming shade of hot pink in an art project installed in the Mid-City neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The project, apparently completed in recent days, is at 1500 Hi Point St., where three homes will be torn down to make way for an apartment complex, the real estate website Curbed initially reported.
Local residents are not pleased, and they say the neighborhood association was not consulted, according to Curbed.
One resident said neighbors were surprised by the pink project, especially given previous discussions about plans for the 45-unit apartment building that will replace the homes.
“We had kind of gotten the song and dance from the architect that they did care about the neighborhood and had tried to make a project that would be respectful of our character and scale,” resident Traci Considine said. “Then to … see this, with the houses defaced, was pretty jarring.”
Others walking by on Tuesday said the paint job was fun. Some snapped photos in front of the homes.
M-Rad Architecture, the firm planning the apartments, said it was calling the project “iMpermanence” and advised people to come view the homes to “experience iMpermanence while you can!”
Matthew Rosenberg, a principal with the Culver City firm, said M-Rad wanted to send a message about lack of affordable housing in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the U.S.
The artist behind the project called it an “ephemeral conceptual art project as a jumping off point for a conversation about community, development, public art, and social media.”
Matty Mo aka The Most Famous Artist posted several photos of the shocking pink homes on his Instagram account. The first photo shows the paint job began June 7.
LAist, meanwhile, reported that the whole thing was a stunt to draw attention to an L.A.-based brand of canned rose wine. Nomadica, the wine company, apparently scheduled an event at the homes with TMFA, or The Most Famous Artist, on June 10, which was National Rose Day.
“Come for a selfie, stay for the wine,” the company’s Facebook invitation states.
The artist said on Instagram that the project had “obvious references” to the work of Christo and other artists as well as the early 20th century Dada movement.
“The community now has pink houses in it,” Matty Mo told KTLA. “I’m just doing my art and it’s up the viewer to interpret the meaning.”
He also runs a company, The Mural Agency, that “creates and installs ‘instagramable’ experiences as-a-service for brand partners worldwide.”
Pink or not, one neighbor said she prefers the small homes over the prospect of a 45-unit apartment building.
“I miss the little bungalows that were here. They’re really part of the value of this neighborhood,” Ruth Souza said. “Greedy developers coming in and building huge places … will just impact and change the nature of this very particular neighborhood.”
The pink paint project is similar to another social media-ready paint job that took place along Sunset Boulevard in 2015, when the abandoned former Bates Motel in Silver Lake was painted all white, including the nearby palm trees.
In the Mid-City case, some of the shrubbery was painted pink and some vegetation was left in its natural state.