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"Plump Women" Mural in Boyle Heights Has Some Residents Up In Arms

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A 100-foot mural proposed for the LAPD Hollenbeck station in Boyle Heights has some residents outraged because the piece--meant to show off the neighborhood's vibrancy, and inspired by Diego Rivera's work "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park"--actually portrays a "crime-ridden dump with plump women, stray dogs, beer-swilling men and illegal street vendors," according to the LA Times. Is this an accurate representation of a neighborhood many believe is on the cusp of change? Cliches in the mural are abundant--a woman hangs her laundry on a bush--in this case, her laundry includes a Shaquille O'Neil basketball jersey , while a cop questions a local. Even the LAPD isn't keen on the mural--LAPD Capt. Blake Chow tells the paper it paints a "dark picture of Hollenbeck, and Boyle Heights in particular." The artist, Sandow Birk defends the piece, but admits he was surprised because he was picked because his work is so anti-LAPD. And it's true: A quick look at his gallery of work pretty much supports that theory. Yes, why was he picked?

Diego Rivera's "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park":

· Mural sparks outcry from residents of L.A.'s Eastside [LA Times]