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Shepard Fairey, Korean Americans and LA’s art community weigh in on K-town school mural

The controversial mural of Hollywood legend actress Ava Gardner, by muralist Beau Stanton, situated at the Robert F. Kennedy Community School, that will be removed after local Korean American groups objected to it saying its sun rays bear a resemblance to the rising sun of the imperial Japanese battle flag used in WWII, in Los Angeles, California on December 13, 2018. - The mural near the site of Robert Kennedy's death, is considered by the groups to be as offensive as a swastika to Jewish people or a burning cross to African Americans. The artist chose to pay tribute to Ava Gardner who used to frequent a nearby nightclub. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The controversial mural of Hollywood legend actress Ava Gardner, by muralist Beau Stanton, situated at the Robert F. Kennedy Community School, that will be removed after local Korean American groups objected to it saying its sun rays bear a resemblance to the rising sun of the imperial Japanese battle flag used in WWII, in Los Angeles, California on December 13, 2018.

A week after the LAUSD agreed to paint over a school mural after criticisms emerged over its insensitivity towards Korea Americans, street artist Shepard Fairey has weighed in on the discussion.

A week after the LAUSD agreed to paint over a school mural after criticisms emerged over its insensitivity towards Korea Americans, street artist Shepard Fairey has weighed in on the discussion.

The mural in question, which is on campus of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, depicts an image of Ava Gardner with rays radiating behind her face. Critics say the motif resembles the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army, which committed incalculable atrocities against Koreans and others during the war. The artist behind the Ava Gardner mural, Beau Stanton, said that mural was intended to celebrate the famous Cocoanut Grove bar in Hollywood and was not meant as a reference to the war.

Under pressure, the LAUSD said last week that it would repaint the mural.

The muralist and street artist Shepard Fairey weighed in on the controversy over the weekend, saying that if Stanton’s mural is erased, he would also remove his own mural — which features Robert F. Kennedy — on the same campus.

We reached out to LAUSD officials for comment. They did not get back to us in time for this segment.

Guests:

Shepard Fairey, contemporary street artist and creator of the large outdoor portrait of Robert F. Kennedy at the RFK Community Schools complex; he tweets

Beau Stanton, multi-disciplinary artist and creator of the “Lady of the Grove” mural at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex

Chan Yong “Jake” Jeong, president of the Wilshire Community Coalition, a non-profit that aims to represent community issues

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