GRAFFITI

What Happened to the Pink Lady of Malibu?

In 1966, a 60-foot-tall graffiti image of a nude "pink lady" appeared overnight above the tunnel on Malibu Canyon Road. As city officials caught sight of the drawing, they decided it had to go. Firefighters were called in to hose her down, Wooster Collective recounts in its history of the guerrilla art, and when that didn't work, buckets of paint thinner were applied. Annoyed by the previously existing graffiti that cluttered the tunnel's rock face, local resident Lynne Seemayer had surreptitiously scaled the wall over 10 months to remove the offensive tagging. When the surface was clean, Seemayer painted the Pink Lady with ordinary house paint. After city officials removed it, Seemayer sued Los Angeles County for destroying her work. The county shot back with a $28,000 suit for removal costs, but both cases were thrown out because the painting appeared on private property. The city eventually effaced the image by covering it with brown paint.