Sidney Poitier and Judy Garland Featured in New Six-Story Hollywood Mural

·3-min read

About six weeks ago, locals and visitors to the famed intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street saw one of the bare walls in the area begin to show some shapes and colors. Over on Instagram, posing at the same spot, Los Angeles urban pop artist Tristan Eaton wrote on July 17, “My dream wall is finally happening!”

On Aug. 25, the six-story mural, which adorns the south-facing side of the Aster club and hotel, had its official reveal in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The mural was created with spray paint and executed in Eaton’s signature collage style, which mixes pop art and traditional techniques. It’s a salute to Hollywood groundbreakers such as Judy Garland and Sidney Poitier, whose likenesses are the largest figurative elements of the work. Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft, and granddaughter, Vanessa Richards, were among the guests who attended the ribbon-cutting.

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At the same time, Eaton said, the mural pays tribute to “car culture, graffiti culture, punk rock and underground film,” which were a part of his experience growing up in Los Angeles. Eaton jokes that he was conceived a few blocks from the Aster when his father was courting his actor mother, and that he was born just down the way on Sunset

Boulevard. He was raised in greenrooms and backstage areas, and those environments informed the conception of the piece, whose focus is “Hollywood versus underground Hollywood.”

Pop artist Tristan Eaton speaks at the unveiling of his new mural at the Aster club and hotel in Hollywood on Aug. 25, 2022.
Pop artist Tristan Eaton speaks at the unveiling of his new mural at the Aster club and hotel in Hollywood on Aug. 25, 2022.

The artist credits Stacy Peralta, the Z-Boys skateboarder and surfer-turned-film director and entrepreneur with shaping his vision of the city. Peralta himself appears on the mural, as does a graphic borrowed from his skateboard brand Powell-Peralta.

An eclectic mix of Los Angeles signifiers — including Randy’s Donuts, City of Los Angeles insignias, the Cinerama Dome, Mel’s Diner and Griffith Observatory — are depicted in the mural as are Joan Didion, muralist David Alfaro, cartoonist Phil Norman, illustrator Betty Brader, April Geiman, designer Sheila de Brettville and poster artist Stanley Mouse, Los Angeles’ gay history has a strong presence by way of such LGBTQ identifiers as Divine, Traci Lords, the Black Cat bar, and AIDS and gay rights posters from decades past.

Eaton received two certificates of recognition, one from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and another from Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell of Los Angeles’ 13th district. The Aster, which opened earlier this month, the same week Eaton’s mural was completed, also received a certificate.

Before heading up to the club level of the Aster to celebrate, Eaton remarked, “I’ve been trying to get this wall for six years,” and commented on the irony of being in Hollywood “in a suit and a tie, talking about spray paint.” 1717 Vine St., Hollywood

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