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Man Gets Tattoo of Graffiti-Filled Towers in Downtown LA Reinstated – NBC Los Angeles

Man Gets Tattoo of Graffiti-Filled Towers in Downtown LA Reinstated – NBC Los Angeles

The abandoned Oceanwide Plaza Development is an eyesore to some and a work of art to others. For one man, the graffiti-covered towers are now a showpiece.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez liked the graffiti towers so much that he wanted to make them permanent. He came up with the idea while he was hanging out with his tattoo artist.

“We were smoking, I was drinking, and my buddy was like, ‘Oh, let me do a backpiece.’ I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m ready,'” Rodriguez said. “And he was like, ‘What were you thinking?’ The skyscrapers.”

It took tattoo artist Eric Reyna two sessions to finish Rodriguez’s back piece, and the artist says it’s just the beginning.

“We still have a long way to go. We still have to add a building here and I want to add another portrait and on the back of this side we want to do a police car and something like that,” Reyna said. “I want to say we probably have another 100 hours of work to do on his back.”

Rodriguez lived in downtown Los Angeles and saw the towers go up before the project was halted.

“I could stand on my roof and I could see all of this, I could see it go from nothing to something to nothing,” Rodriguez said.

It didn’t take long to convince Rodiguez to agree to the idea.

“I thought, why not? I’m 45, who’s going to tell me anything,” Miguel said. “I just gave him the idea and he ran with it. I trust him so much.”

Construction of Oceanwide Plaza on the 1100 block of Flower Street was halted in 2019 when the Chinese developers who had originally planned apartments, a shopping mall and a hotel ran out of money. Since the halt, the rambling complex of empty towers has become a magnet for graffiti artists and daredevils.

Recently, the Oceanwide Plaza Development was put up for sale, so the future of the towers and the graffiti is unknown. But Miguel knows his art is permanent.

“Until I die, then it’s off the map,” Rodriguez said.