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Barry Shy's Very Furry Vision of Downtown's Future

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After the Downtown News mentioned the new mural at Barry Shy's SB Tower, that conversion on Spring Street--the building Shy famously blew holes in the base of--we had to go check out the 20-by-10-foot painting, which sits in the building's lobby. If each downtown developer has their version of the future--Sonny Astani envisioned a "Blade Runner"-like screen mesh wrapping around his Concerto building--Shy's image of downtown includes lions and waterfalls. "It's supposed to be an urban jungle," says Shy, of the piece. He commissioned Henigman Art after finding the artist's firm on the Internet. "Lions don't live in a jungle," he adds. "Lions live on the savannah...a lion wouldn't live downtown, it's not the climate for them. But you'll see a bobcat in the hills." Nevermind the technicalities. Each lion is supposed to represent one of Shy's buildings, he says.

According to the developer, the first draft the artist turned in was a little disappointing. "It was ok, but it seemed too realistic, I wanted it to be futuristic.. so we figured we’ll bring in the waterfalls," said Shy, who paid $10,000 for the mural. The view is from the roof of SB Tower, according to Shy, although he points out his buildings aren't in the right order. Again, who fusses over details? Prices in the building range from $1,295 for a 730 square foot unit to $2,695 for a 1,650 square foot unit, according to the latest rental sheet. According to the Downtown News story, "young professional artistic types" are said to be attracted to the building.
· The Eighth Lion [Downtown News]

SB Tower

600 spring, los angeles, ca