What the Fafi? Mural by Famed Artist Removed After Short Life in Long Beach • Long Beach Post

UPDATE: The Fafi mural that was located at 425 E 4th Street in DTLB was taken down by property owners despite public outcry to keep the famed muralist’s piece up.


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Much to the applause of art lovers and locals alike, the Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) has taken part of the mural and placed it in their Vitality and Verve exhibit, the museum tweeted this morning.

September 2, 2015 | When Pow! Wow! came to Long Beach, it was—by the very definition—a big deal. Not kinda. Not sorta.

Definitively.

Pow! Wow! has become a global artist collective that seeks to alter the public landscape by providing the world’s leading street artists the largest canvases possible—the walls of buildings—while bringing together creative spirits in a way that is otherwise not possible. It has additionally brought forward musicians, photographers, and videographers to bring their own artistic flair to the event as it has expanded over the years.

whatthefafi-before-and-after2In this sense, we are talking rockstars of the art world invading Downtown Long Beach and creating what essentially is a free, open-24-7, sprawling outdoor museum. James Jean. Tristan Eaton. Even one of the world’s most respected female street artists, French wonder Fafi, brought her mixed-media talent to the East Village as well as a sold-out audience to the Art Theatre on Retro Row to listen to her one-on-one interview about her history, art and

Well, she had brought her work.

Fafi’s work—an assemblage of her famed Fafinette lady characters surrounded by flowers tied to the fence that faces 4th between Elm and Linden—has been taken down for reasons that Pow! Wow! representatives said was simply a choice by the property owner.

While I’m shocked that the piece wasn’t stolen beforehand—and someone had clearly tried given its slowly dilapidated state and distress around its attachments—I’m mostly shocked that the chance for people to continue to see it has been cut short. Surely, the beauty of the temporariness of street art is part of its lure, but the fact that Pow! Wow! brought national and international attention to our city, with people still continuing to drive in from out of town to catch a glimpse of the murals… Well, one would think, out of tact and respect, that the piece remain up until it was either damaged or outright stolen (like the rap signs).

Here is how I described the influence of Fafi after I took a picture of her that she shared on Instagram:

“A long time ago, I used to be cool. I was cool because of the musicians surrounding Ed Banger Records (and the people who surrounded them). We’re talking Justice. Uffie. Busy P. And especially DJ Mehdi, who indirectly introduced me to what would become one of my favorite artists: Fafi. Her brilliant way of approaching art from the street made me a fan… And I not only had the privilege of watching her speak in Long Beach, I got to take this awesome photograph as she works on a piece for Pow! Wow! Long Beach. Far too much of a wussy to approach her, I just spied on her with my camera. Her badassery—the cowboy hat, the bike, the total lack of giving a fuck—was freeing. I was once again a cool kid. So thanks, Fafi.”

Thank you, Fafi, one more time. Perhaps we need to be a little more freeing ourselves and just enjoy, were we the ones who saw it, that we had the privilege.

The future home of the piece, now in the hands of Pow! Wow! officials, has not yet been determined.

 

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