Battle on Beverly: What Happens When One L.A. Street Artist Takes Another's Painting and Puts It Into His Own Creation?
|Photo: Joel Revoredo|
At around the same time that CHOD was making trips to Beverly Blvd., Preece was in the car with her boyfriend. Someone sent CHOD's video to her phone. "I didn't really know how to take it," she tells L.A. Weekly. Preece talked to a few friends. The consensus was that this was a diss.
CHOD maintains that his project wasn't a slight against Preece. He says that he picked her because he knew she wrote on the same wall where he often posted work. Also, he knew that she had pieces for sale at Lab Art Gallery.
That's not how Preece sees the situation. She contends that if CHOD wanted to collaborate, he could have contacted her. Preece saw the move as a "personal attack" on her work. "I didn't know if that was his intention, but that's how I took it," she adds.
Preece happened to be in the neighborhood where the art was hanging. "Sure as shit, the painting is still there, glued to the wall with the little placard," Preece recalls. She took the piece off the wall, documenting it on Instagram, and brought it home with her.
Joel Revoredo The note CHOD attached to the artwork
Then there was the Facebook rant where Preece described CHOD in colorful language. The screen shots of that ended up on street art blog Melrose & Fairfax, who broke the story, alongside CHOD's response to her reaction. The Internet audience divided up into Team Preece and Team CHOD. Comments were heated. Somewhere in this whole mess of comment threads, art happened. It happened because people were talking.
The conversation wasn't quite what CHOD expected. In fact, he says that it's "100 times more interesting" than how he thought this might all unfold.
Value became tied to ownership. Preece created the original work, but she lost ownership when CHOD bought the painting from the gallery. "The piece was now his," Preece says. "He could light it on fire, smash it over somebody's head."
But what CHOD chose to do was add his own contribution to the work and change the price tag from $2500 to $0, leading Preece to take back ownership of the work when she pulled it down from the wall.
"The highest value on this object is placed on it by the original artist," CHOD states. "It's not even a monetary value. She's now selling it for an amount that she'll never see."
There's an unexpected silver lining for Preece too. "When all is said and done, it turned out to be a good thing," she says. "I got paid for the original painting. I got my own painting back. I get to raise money for this charity now."