Chris Brown has gone on Twitter to defend the artwork outside his Hollywood Hills home that neighbors and the city of Los Angeles want him to take down. Brown tweeted that his neighbours need to “get a life.”
His tweet in full actually said, “There are scarier creatures on Harry Potter Get a … life! ima paint until my hands fall off.”
Brown’s neighbors claim the monsters are scaring neighborhood kids and ruining the hillside aesthetic of the area below Lake Hollywood.
Patti Negri, president of the Hollywood Dell Civic Association said, “There are lots of babies, lots of children, and they’re literally frightened. It’s like devils on the wall — big, scary eyes and big, scary teeth, and just the whole vibe is not what we’re used to.”
Responding to complaints about the art, L.A. city code officials cited Brown for unpermitted and excessive signage and ordered him to remove the art within 30 days. He also faces fines that start at $376 but could rise significantly if he fails to comply.
Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said the musician is not backing down. He says it’s the neighbors who are harassing Brown.
Geragos has said that, “I’m scared of neighborhood busybodies like this. They’ve called animal control. They have sicced parking [enforcement] on him, and now they reached the heights of ridiculousness here. Shame on them.”
Geragos said the city can expect a legal fight over Brown’s personal artwork, which unwittingly thrust him into one of L.A.’s longest-running civic debates. Although the city has a reputation for being the street mural capital of the world, much of that artwork has been done illicitly. City ordinances make it illegal to create murals on the vast majority of private properties.
Not to put too fine a point on it, Geragos has said,”They are trying to suspend the 1st Amendment.”
Brown is not the the first celebrity to ruffle neighborhood feathers. Not far away locationally, Madonna drew protests in the 1990s when she painted her Hollywood Hills home in red and yellow stripes. But it’s not just mural type artwork that the locals dislike.
They also don’t seem to care for crowds either. Local residents kicked up a fuss about Lindsay Lohan’s endless procession of paparazzi and other curiosity seekers speeding on her street. Justin Bieber’s neighbors in Calabasas complain that his entourage regularly races through the suburban gated community.
Patti Negri is optimistic that Brown and his neighbors can mend fences and put this whole disagreement behind them. She said, “I know a $300 fine is probably pocket change. But hopefully and maybe, he’ll just see the light and decide to be a good neighbor,” she said. “We’re happy to have him — if he just tones it down.”
But Negri’s hopes may just be in vain. If Chris Brown’s Tweet on Twitter is anything to go by, he seems pretty determined to “suffer” for his art[work] and will dig in his heels for a long and protracted battle with his aesthetically challenged neighbours who insist that his freedom of expression is scaring the local kids.
By Michael Smith