Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Like the "influencers" who stand in front of it, this selfie mural is an empty hoax

This has to be a troll. Or an Exit Through the Gift Shop stunt or something. In a culture that’s currently ripping itself apart at the seams over whether or not people should be denied entry or service for religious and/or political reasons, somebody’s on the streets of L.A. with a shitty painting of angel wings only accessible to those “verified on social media, or unverified influencers who have over 20k followers.” There are literally security guards in front of this thing, as well as a sign that reads “we apologize for the inconvenience.”

The accompanying PR email is comically soulless, describing Los Angeles as being “home to the stars and the glitz and glam of Hollywood” and heralding the mural as combining “the beauty of L.A.’s thriving street art culture with the exclusive VIP experience of Hollywood.”

As for why only “influencers” are allowed to view the mural, the release reads:

Influencers are people that we all look to for inspiration on how to live our best lives. They also work harder than anyone every day to curate unique and beautiful lifestyle stories and personal brands. This project is not meant to exclude non influencers, it’s meant to reward the ones who take digital storytelling to the next level. These days, so much art is spread through social media, we wanted our special mural to be spread only by the best accounts in the same way a painter picks the highest quality canvas to paint their masterpiece upon!


Unfortunately, as much as we’d love a target of derision this delusional, this is just a publicity stunt. The mural (which, with its angel wings, checkmark, and “love” and “art” scribbles, is basic to the point of absurdity) comes courtesy of “the new show Like & Subscribe,” and, though their Twitter account has only a few tweets on it, there’s clearly an undercurrent of playfulness to the whole thing.

Also, Inverse swung by the mural, noting that “the space strikingly stands in contrast to the colorful, selfie-friendly murals a few feet away.” They add, “It’s ugly and ridiculous. That’s exactly the point.” Inverse also notes, however, that plenty of people weren’t in on the joke, whether they were young upstarts flaunting their verification check or spurned social media duds who used the stunt as a means to rant about inclusivity. Mission accomplished?


Anyways, it’ll be at 7753 Melrose Ave in L.A. through tomorrow if, and only if, you’re verified.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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