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Kent Twitchell's "lost" mural of Michael Jackson to go public

March 11, 2009 |  6:29 am

Kent_twitchell_3 Michael_jackson

When Culture Monster hears the phrase "the lost works of Kent Twitchell," thoughts immediately turn to the unfortunate 2006 incident in which Twitchell's six-story mural "Ed Ruscha Monument," created over a period of nine years on the side of a downtown building owned by the federal government, was painted over with no prior notice to the artist. Twitchell settled his lawsuit against the U.S. government and 11 other defendants two years later, for $1.1 million.

But in 2009, "the lost works of Kent Twitchell" is the subtitle of an upcoming exhibition of this very public artist's unseen works, titled "Thriller: The King of Pop Meets the King of Cool," on view April 2-24 at the new LOOK Gallery in downtown's L.A. Mart Design Center.

The centerpiece will be the first public showing of Twitchell's 80-foot-tall mural of the Popster himself, Michael Jackson. Commissioned by the Hollywood Arts Council, the mural was originally planned to be shown in 1993 on the side of the Barker Bros. Building in Hollywood, now the El Capitan Theatre.

Also included in the exhibit will be a full-scale re-creation of Twitchell's first public work, a Steve McQueen portrait originally painted on a house in Hollywood.

And not to be forgotten are pencil and pastel studies of many of Twitchell's well-known murals -- including the defaced "Ed Ruscha Monument" -- that will be on view.

--Diane Haithman

Photos: Kent Twitchell works on a mural in Los Angeles. Credit: Los Angeles Times; Michael Jackson. Credit: John G. Mabanglo/EPA