Mar Vista pavement mural is the first of its kind in L.A.

An aerial drone photo taken Feb. 9 depicts the in-progress mural
Photo courtesy of DJ Neff

Look out — rather, down — for Mar Vista’s newest mural. The intersection of Grand View Boulevard and Pacific Avenue is now decorated with a pavement mural funded by the city. And yes, it’s literally on the street.

The circular mural near the Venice Boulevard Great Streets project is a joint effort of Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin’s office, the nonprofit Green Communications Initiative, the city’s Department of Transportation and the Bureau of Street Services. It’s the first of its kind in L.A., according to the city.

The mural spans 35 feet wide and depicts two giant koi fish — one calico red, the other golden yellow —circling in a pond. Local artist and designer DJ Neff is the lead artist on the project.

“The red one is meant to represent love,” said Neff, co-creator of the Mar Vista Art Department, an artisan retail and events space. “The gold one represents prosperity and luck.”

Nearly a dozen local artists and others from elsewhere in the city battled rainfall over 10 days in late January and early February, noted painter Mitchelito Orquiola, the project’s main co-renderer. Some recent paint flaking is likely due to those wet conditions.

“It’s been so amazing having people just show up and hang out and talk, and some people pick up paint brushes. It helps bring the neighborhood together,” said Neff. “Hopefully this sets a precedent for other neighborhoods to beautify their streets.”

— Christina Campodonico