During 1971 early Los Angeles street artist Kent Twitchell painted his first
realistic mural. He called it "Steve McQueen Monument" and pictures of it began
appearing in newspapers everywhere, a two-story cool blue phantom coming out of
a house a few blocks west (12th Street and Union Avenue) of Downtown Los
The mural stood as a landmark for nearly 30 years, possibly the oldest extant LA
Mural of the movement that influenced similar movements throughout the world.
Then it was mysteriously painted out. Rumor was that a family from a different
country had moved into the house. They did not speak English and did not realize
its cultural importance to the City. Eight years later Graduate Art History
major Fernando Cervantes, working on a paper about the art of Kent Twitchell,
took it upon himself to go to the house and knock on the door. He discovered
that yes, there were language issues but the new owners very much wanted the
mural restored. Workers had painted it out by accident.
Twitchell decided this was the ideal time to restore his landmark monument, the
30th year after his favorite actor's death. He intends to work with LA's "Fresco
School" beginning the first week of November to bring the Steve McQueen Monument
back in all its glory.
For more information about the opening date please contact the Fresco School at
Terrence Steven "Steve" McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) – a popular
American movie actor. He was nicknamed "The King of Cool." His "anti-hero"
persona, which he developed at the height of the Vietnam counterculture, made
him one of the top box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s. McQueen received an
Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles. His other popular
films include The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair,
Bullitt, The Getaway, Papillon, and The Towering Inferno. In 1974, he became the
highest-paid movie star in the world.
Kent Twitchell is one of the most honored muralists in Los Angeles. He is most
famous for his larger-than-life mural portraits, often of artists, celebrities
and historic figures. Twitchell executed a number of highly visible and
distinctive murals in the Los Angeles area that include the "Ed Ruscha Monument"
(1987) at 1031 S. Hill, "Seventh Street Altar Piece" (1984) along the Harbor
Freeway (largely destroyed by graffiti), the "Gary Lloyd Monument" (1983) at
Towne and Fifth (painted out) and "Harbor Freeway Overture" (1992) on a parking
structure overlooking the Harbor Freeway.
Article provided by Anatoly V.
Pictures of the First Mural