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Visual Art At Occupy LA

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 26, 2011, 6:47 PM
I went to Occupy LA twice with my camera. Once today.  The encampment is slated to come down this Sunday.

Ocla 24 by makepictures
This photo was taken before they surrounded the fountain in the background with plywood to protect it.  The plywood became an important canvass, but the peice on the left with crazed Uncle Sams disappeared.

Ocla 14 by makepictures
Detail from the wall in the next picture, both on the plywood now protecting the fountain.

Ocla 11 by makepictures
Seems to be president John F. Kennedy but I have no idea what that has to do with Occupy LA.  He was, of course, part of the 1%.

Ocla 31 by makepictures



Ocla 8 by makepictures
Another side of the plywood wall. Rasta religious iconography has nothing to do with the Occupy movement that I can determine except that the smell of marijuana was pervasive on all of my visits.

Ocla Composite 1 by makepictures
Many messages.

Ocla 9 by makepictures
The third visible wall of plywood covering the fountain.  This wall faces the Los Angeles City Hall which the encampment surrounds.

Ocla 10 by makepictures
Detail.


Ocla 1 by makepictures
The people camped under this image were the most unfriendly I encountered.


Ocla 2 by makepictures
The lower right hand corner seemed to be the sentiment of the street people who appeared to be the largest contingent in the camp.

Ocla 26 by makepictures
One of the days I took photographs was just before Halloween.


Ocla 18 by makepictures
One corner of the encampment is an arts and crafts center and the dedicated woman sitting for the interview even has a beret on!


Ocla 16 by makepictures
I overheard a conversation into a cell phone by one of the occupants of this tent asking someone on the other end of the call to bring him a shirt and his gas mask.


Ocla Composite 2 by makepictures
The Yemeni flag had something to do with a peace movement which will need to overcome the hand grenade.


Ocla 21 by makepictures
I think this is called naive political art.


Ocla 29 by makepictures
The flag was on the lawn in my first visit. I was told by members of the Occupy encampment that the flag was work by a Brooklyn street artist known as Saber.  The piece wasn't there today. The spot is completely covered with tents. I was also told the artist had removed the work and had sold it.

Ocla 25 by makepictures
In my earlier visit there was on-site T-shirt screening. It was not there today.


Ocla 4 by makepictures
Art in progress.


Ocla 5 by makepictures
At the bottom of the standee it says: "Just The Way It Is."


Ocla 20 by makepictures
My favorite image and photograph from the visits I made.


Ocla 22 by makepictures
Very appropriately for this Journal the sign says: "I Study Art At Occupy LA."


Ocla 23 by makepictures
And let us all hope that when the encampment comes down on Sunday it is peaceful.

Let me know in the comments if you would like larger resolution images of any of these.

UPDATE:
The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles is actively looking for an organization to store the plywood panels on which this art was painted.  They saved the panels when the City of Los Angeles tore down the encampment.  You can read more here:
muralconservancy.org/our-blog/…

Sadly, it looks like in the last moments of the encampment some taggers covered up a lot of the art.  You can see this in the photographs of the panel posted by MCLA at the link provided above.


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:icona-n-t-i-g-o-n-e:
A-n-t-i-g-o-n-e Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012
Wow, I had no idea that there was a fountain within the Occupus. These are great pics! By the time I went down, there were tents everywhere including where Saber's work laid, so it's very cool seeing these.
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012
Thanks. The Occupy movement should have someplace to make visual statements or move their tactics to include more visual content, past ups and so forth. I'm surprised this has happened to a greater degree.
Reply
:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012
Wow. Look before you post. This comment should read: "Thanks. The Occupy movement should have someplace to make visual statements or move their tactics to include more visual content, paste ups and so forth. I'm surprised this hasn't happened to a greater degree."
Reply
:iconaliwithaneye:
AliWithAnEye Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Professional Photographer
This is amazing :hug:
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011
Thanks. And because of your profile page I found the "You are the resistance" group. I love that people are using dA as a location for graphics from the Occupy movement.
Reply
:iconaliwithaneye:
AliWithAnEye Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Professional Photographer
:love: I am trying to use as many outlets as possible. I think art, and photojournalism is extremely influential and important to not only our history but our future as well ;) :hug:
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011
Absolutely accurate.
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:iconaunnyd:
aunnyd Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011
Amazing account of Occupy LA, Josh. I would love high res versions of these for posterity. But SABER, one of the most prolific graffiti writers of our time is de el eh, holmes. Chu betta recognize. ;)
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011
He may be LA but at the camp he was some guy from Brooklyn who came and went. I'm just a reporter.
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:icongetcarter:
getcarter Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011   Photographer
excellent, Josh - I must visit LA one day!
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011
You should. We could have wonderful photo safaris.
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:iconmephistophilez:
Mephistophilez Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011   Traditional Artist
You did a nice job capturing some very specific scenes that are truly stunning. I had no idea that there was so much art going on at the Occupy LA (guess I shouldn't be surprised). We see pictures of the tents and the people with signs and the police, but I'm also really interested in the artwork and the mechanics of the camps. There's a lot of powerful messages in these photos, and some beautiful artwork. Your photos are wonderful, the color and crispness and framing is perfect, and you managed to capture a lot of the mood from the camp. Really nice, thank you for sharing these :)
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011
Thanks so much for your comment. It was a pleasure to execute; made three or four visits down to the encampment on regularly beautiful Los Angeles days adding in an opportunity to hang downtown which is enjoying a new vibrancy. The graphic representation of the Occupy movement is as disjointed and as exciting as its philosophy and goals.
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:iconmattdanna:
mattdanna Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011
Awesome post, Josh. I wish I was around this weekend to go check it out. Thanks for sharing!
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011
I've been waiting a long time for civilians on dA to have the ability to make a journal with documentary content without having to post each image as deviations which tends to elevate the images beyond their functional purpose. That day has come - - almost. haha
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:icongrieves05:
grieves05 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
Amazing article and your photos are just brilliant with color.
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
Thanks.
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:iconmatteo:
matteo Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
Incredible photos. Occupy Austin is not nearly as stimulating. I'll see if I can take some photos for comparison. See you in a week or two. :)
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
Would love to see comparisons and would love to see an Occupy group on dA focused on the visual art from the movement.
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:iconquadraro:
Quadraro Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Professional
Reply
:iconwingsofdragons:
wingsofdragons Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree with some points of Occupy wall street....I live in the Bronx and work in
Manhattan............
when they say they will shut down the trains and other
buildings.......it hurts everyone.......people who have jobs do support them in some ways.
....but find it hard then they threaten us with shutting things down
:iconwingsplz:
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
I agree. The Occupy movement needs to interfere with the power centers and power brokers and leave the people to be the people. An attack on transportation is too generalized. However, transportation could still be targeted appropriately. For example, barricading all roads into the Hamptons during the summer would have a certain charm.
Reply
:iconwingsofdragons:
wingsofdragons Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
The Hamptons I agree with you on that........!!
let them feel a bit of the bite there.......
lets see how they deal with that ........
not to well I think
especially if they are the ones doing the driving not there drivers........:D
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:iconalliechan1000:
alliechan1000 Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
not saying that the occupy project is bad, but I hear they really just have no leader, and are just a very large group of people fighting. Perhaps this is just what we need, or not. i do really like the graffiti, how it speaks so very clearly to whoever lays their eyes on it. I don't know too much besides general knowledge about "occupy wall st." and such but it is a very interesting topic.
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
Really wonderful comment. Yes, the messages are very conflicted - - but very stimulating - - at least visually and somewhat philosophically.
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:iconrebeccalongart:
RebeccaLongArt Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I don't really agree with all of the occupy philosophy, but what a wonderful collection of photos!
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
Thanks for the comment. There certainly something for everyone, philosophically, in these Occupy encampments.
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Student General Artist
Would you mind if I put these images on tumblr and linked everything back to this journal?
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
No. I don't mind but please write in the tumblr that they come off of deviantART. Don't just link.
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Student General Artist
Can do C: and thank you <3
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:iconscreaminglullabies:
ScreamingLullabies Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Student General Artist
Some of the things about the Occupy LA movement I really agree with, and other things I strongly disagree with. It's just so broad. All kinds of different stuff goin on there. I really like some of these <3 I wish i could be there to see it myself. I hoe i get to see more C:
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
I don't know where you live in the United States but there is likely to be some activity related to the Occupy movement near you.
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:iconcglo:
cglo Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
Of course the people under that certain image would be the most unfriendly people you've ever met; it's an image of a bear wearing a bandana mask and wielding weapons lol.

They're only going to go somewhere else. Here in my city they got evicted from infront of the art gallery after being there since this started and immediately set up camp infront of the court houses. Then they got evicted again and they moved to another part of the city.

From reading the public's comments in newspapers the public thought it would be the end and "good riddance!" once the occupiers got evicted from the first location.
They're not going anywhere ladies and gentlemen.
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
If you make a camp with accommodations for food and rest and some degree of safety within an urban setting it will fill with the homeless and other street people in need of the society it brings to them. The political intent and commitment from which the camp may have evolved becomes lost in the all too immediate needs and demands of the underprivileged.

Perhaps the Occupy movement should concentrate on demonstrations that "occupy" on a flash basis instead of encampments. And perhaps cities should concentrate on serving their poor and homeless and mentally ill more directly as their numbers swell.
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:iconcglo:
cglo Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
I dunno about LA but in Vancouver we've had at least 30 homeless people sheltered and fed, creating a close-nit community for these people who society has otherwised turned their faces the other way.
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:iconskool4psychs:
Skool4Psychs Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011  Student General Artist
intense...
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:iconmarx77:
MARX77 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011   Photographer
Wonderful collection and great commentary as well!
Ocla 29, 25, and 9 are my favorites. More please. :D
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:iconmakepictures:
makepictures Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011
29 has palm trees and the shadows of palm trees.
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:iconmarx77:
MARX77 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011   Photographer
Yep! Heh heh....
There's great symbolism in the image as well.
The palm trees represent powerful nations standing high and mighty.
But once the rays of reality falls on them, their shadows reveal a different story.
No foundations...

The U.A.E. is something like that. Looks like the U.S. is too.
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