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Graffiti Artist's Surprise Artwork in Santa Monica to Benefit Sea Shepherd and Heal The Bay

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Yesterday, a massive piece of artwork that had been covered by tarps for months, was unveiled in Santa Monica, California.

The Los Angeles Times called it a “startling, four-story-high art installation” that “consists of a series of 150 square panels spray-painted yellow-orange, magenta, purple, sky blue and sea foam green. Each panel also bears a series of unidentifiable, white-painted characters that seem like a message scrawled by extraterrestrials.” The display is surrounded by houses and reportedly attached to what will be a residence, and not everyone is thrilled with its presence. Ron Takiguchi, a building official says “Aside from all thoughts on the intent, message and look of the panels, my approach … is that it is a health and safety concern and a hazard subject to immediate removal.” Reportedly, there were no permits sought to place the artwork there.

Others are supportive after hearing the artist’s intentions for his work. Graffiti artist Risk (Kelly Graval) and his fellow creators of the piece say that they hope it will “remind viewers of the pollution fouling the world’s oceans.” The exhibition will travel to other locations while raising money for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as well as Heal The Bay, a environmental group local to Santa Monica. A local resident, Tom Hall said “It’s not here forever, but it’s great for Santa Monica…The message is we all have to start doing something for the planet.”

Adam Corlin, a developer who asked the artists Risk and Retna to create the piece, explained the aspects of the painting: “the colors were meant to signify the sun (yellows), layers of pollution (purples) and the Earth (blues and greens).” Risk also chimed in on his work, “If you read the typical negative press, people consider [graffiti to be] taking from society,” the bearded artist said. “This is giving back.… The main thing about this mural is to bring people awareness of the whole issue.”

If you’re in the Santa Monica area, go check out this massive installation before it’s taken down!

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