Monday, April 14, 2008

LA River Cats

photo courtesy of CL Photo

As a kid in the late 70’s, I always looked forward to driving by the LA river in my dad’s brown Oldsmobile and getting a glimpse of the cat faces painted on the water drainage covers. The cat faces were always a signifier to me that we were almost home.

As an adult while traveling the Interstate 5 N. bound (somewhere between the Los Feliz exit and the 134 interchange) I noticed that the cat faces were no longer visible. I wondered if they still even existed. To my surprise many have been painted over and some have mysteriously reappeared in a more modern graffiti style. The Cat faces are fascinating to me and are an example of a collective of random and anonymous individuals working in a sort of spontaneous artistic collaboration that has created what I consider to be great American folk art. ~Adam

cats in 1980

After the "clean up"

Photos By Craig Endler (except where noted)
He also wrote a nice article about his involvement with the cat faces

More photos of the LA river


Helen said...

Awesome photos!

Pamcasso said...

Hey, I just discovered your work on etsy. Love love love the Nessie and monster fish on wheels! Anyway, I'm really just starting out my blog, but I wanted to let you know that I just did a post on these.

Shannon of MayaBella said...

Those are so awesome. I have never seen those. Will have to check them out the next visit home to Cali.

Anonymous said...

Hello, nice to see your blog. I love your work.

I thought I'd mention that the original artist for the cats is Leo Limon. He's one of my favorite chicano artists and I still see him casually riding around on a bike in a los angeles neighborhood. He's a pretty cool guy!

-An Admirer

Jo Dee said...

I feel so lucky to have found your funky little off-beat site. I love it so much! Gotta' get some bigfoot magnets for my boyfriend for Christmas. Riotous! The only really funky thing I have on my site is a Gun'r'fly and a cool Bat... everything else is super-sweet. Oh-well, I needed your balance. Thanks for being quirky!

About Me

My photo
PearsonMaron is a collaboration between artists Quincy Pearson and Adam Maron. We specialize in monster magnets, unique knobs made from recycled metal, and lots of other interesting kitschy stuff. We are married and live in Southern California with our daughter and three mean cats.