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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Artist’s Notebook: Sign Spinning

“Flying Ads,” by Marion Eisenmann.

You find these young men (and they always seem to be young men) with their handheld signs all over Los Angeles, advertising pizza, condos or some other business.  I saw one fellow put on an amazing acrobatic show at 1st and Hill streets a few months ago and have been hoping to see him again so I could get his name and have Marion Eisenmann draw him, but he’s never come back. Instead, this is Marion’s take on “sign spinning.”

Marion says:  I did not see this particular scenario for real. I just thought  that that kind of motion advertisement is sometimes amusing, and  pictured somebody who made fun of himself and his costume and stabbed  his Styrofoam pizza body with his arrow sign. The first time I saw  these kind of acrobats was in Los Angeles, and I sometimes wonder how  far people have to branch out to make a living.

Note: In case you just tuned in, Marion and I are visiting local landmarks in a project inspired by what Charles Owens and Joe Seewerker did in Nuestro Pueblo. Be sure to check back for another page from Marion's notebook.

By the way, Daily Mirror readers have asked about buying copies of Marion's artwork. Naturally, this is gratifying because I think Marion's work is terrific, and one of my great pleasures is sharing it with readers. We have decided that the project is a journey about discovering Los Angeles rather than creating things to sell. Marion is busy with other projects and says she isn't set up to mass-produce prints but would entertain inquiries about specific pieces. For further information, contact Marion directly.


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