July 27, 2007  |  Uncategorized


For a short time, psychedelic art legend RICK GRIFFIN‘s original art billboard from 1977 is on display in Hollywood for all the sinners of Los Angeles to enjoy. READ MORE ABOUT THE BILLBOARD’S HISTORY BELOW:

In 1977 Rick Griffin, along with nine other California artists, was commissioned by the Eyes & Ears Foundation to create a billboard sized canvas for a public art project called ARTboard Gallery. The first installation of these nine billboards took place throughout Los Angeles in February 1977.

Rick’s painting, “Imperial Message,” depicts a Griffin talon emerging from a blazing orb of light gripping a scroll. The billboard was originally situated above Wilshire and Fairfax Avenue only a few blocks west of Ed Ruscha’s, “The Back of Hollywood,” also commissioned as part of the Eyes & Ears’ ARTboard Gallery.

Mounted on a Friday, Imperial Message was subsequently stolen the next Sunday. News of the heist made the front page of the Los Angeles Times on February 17, 1977, when it turned up at the gates of a Glendale cemetery just three days after it was stolen. Prior to it being shipped to San Francisco for another ARTBoard installation in November of 1977, Rick altered Imperial Message by writing “REPENT” across the face of the painting. Imperial Message went on to be displayed as a backdrop for several of the Grateful Dead concerts and has not been seen in public since it was last exhibited in New York City in the early eighties.

Thirty years since its initial ARTboard Gallery installation off of Wilshire and Fairfax, Imperial Message returns to Los Angeles where it has been mounted by ClearChannel Outdoor. The billboard is prominently displayed on Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Street, near Mann’s Chinese Theatre in conjunction with the exhibition Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence at Laguna Art Museum.

Imperial Message will be on view until August 5 and the exhibit Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence will be on display at Laguna Art Museum through September 30…

JULY 2007:



“Imperial Message” as it was first displayed in LA in 1977…

Thanx to Jacaeber Kastor & Greg Escalante 

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