The Chosen One

There’s plenty still unknown about the Lucas Museum, but one thing’s for sure: It’ll look good on the screen.

On the second to last day of the first month of 2023, former Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who had finished his final term but was still waiting to be confirmed by the US Senate as ambassador to India, returned to city hall. He was there to unveil his official mayoral portrait by Shepard Fairey, which depicted a somber Garcetti in the same graphic style as the famous Barack Obama poster. Unlike HOPE, its touchstones were hidden, like one of those Magic Eye posters that slowly come into focus: the beleaguered Sixth Street Bridge (opened in 2022), the automated people mover to LAX (estimated completion: 2024), the logo of the city’s Olympic Games (2028), and, tucked over Garcetti’s shoulder, an aerial rendering of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, scheduled to open in Exposition Park in 2025.

I recognized the unmistakable curves of a Dr. Scholl’s insole hovering above the rooftops of South Los Angeles right away. I had flashbacks to the “Quit yellin’, we’re gellin’” memes from when the project was first revealed in 2017. But its presence in the portrait was befuddl…

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