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Street artist behind 'sunbathers' takes credit on Facebook

May 24, 2012 |  5:22 pm

"Sunbathers" in downtown Los Angeles
The artist who installed the "sunbathers" in an empty lot in downtown L.A. has not formally stepped forward to take credit but wrote on his Facebook "haha made the news!" with a link to the post The Times published Wednesday.

"LOL! That is amazing :D way to make people take notice and smile," one friend wrote in the comments, and others congratulated Calder Greenwood on being a successful "L.A. guerilla street artist."

Greenwood, a New York native working in Los Angeles, according to his various social media accounts, called the sunbathers a "secret project" on his Facebook and posted a photo Tuesday with the caption "day at the beach," writing that "there was more water when we decided to do it, but the lack of water kind of works too."

The life-size guerrilla art installation at Broadway, between 1st and 2nd streets in downtown Los Angeles, mysteriously appeared Tuesday and had been drawing attention until it was removed Wednesday.

At first glance, passersby thought they were real: a boy playing in the sand, a woman sunbathing on a brightly colored beach towel, a man under an umbrella in the fenced-in area. People rushing along 1st Street stopped their cellphone conversations to peer through the fence. Others did double-takes as they continued walking, removing their sunglasses for a better look.

"At first, I thought they were real and thought: Who would actually do that? I had to take a closer look," said Natalie Espinoza, 20, who stopped for a few minutes to try to get a good picture with her cellphone. "Now I'm thinking: Who would go to all that trouble to put in that art? It's funny."

"I wish I had my camera," Kim Whitlowe, 48, said to her friend. "I was thinking: Who'd want to sit in a fenced-in area, on rocks. There's no shade, no water-- and they even brought a child! To each his own, but I'm glad it's not real."

Did you snap a picture of the sunbathing family? Or do you have a favorite piece of Los Angeles street art?  Tweet it to us using the hashtag #lastreetart or to our @lanow Twitter account.


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Photo: Mannequin sunbathers lay out their towels and beach chairs in a dirt pit on Broadway and 1st Street in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times