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Steve McQueen Mural is Back in Los Angeles

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 Angeles.

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



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