West Hollywood’s trippy new public art piece flows all over the building at the corner of Robertson and Santa Monica, and its colossal, color-rich characters command your immediate attention.
The art work, by L.A.-based artist Lauren YS, was commissioned by the “Queer to Stay” campaign, which Showtime and the Human Rights Campaign started last year to provide resources for LGBTQ-owned businesses and help them survive the pandemic lockdown.
The assignment awarded to YS was very broad: design a piece celebrating the queer community with a special focus on QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous People of Color) people.
“The message I’d like for people to draw,” YS said, “is to honor the beauty and power in gender fluidity, and to uplift and protect queer businesses and people, especially those who are least advantaged.”
WeHo city leaders share the same goal.
“I just want to re-iterate how important this is,” Councilmember Sepi Shyne said. “The LGBTQ businesses are proven to fail at a higher rate than non-LGBTQ businesses.”
Rife with queer symbolism such as butterflies and carnations, “Queer to Stay” embodies and expands the signature space-age, hypercolor style Lauren YS has become known for. The three figures are an homage to fellow artists Nativeboytoy, ALOK and Basit.
YS recently designed the “Stop Asian Hate” campaign artwork seen across Los Angeles, and has a solo exhibit coming this summer to the Heron Arts gallery in San Francisco.