Twice they've come to investigate why the 41-year-old Eagle Rock artist is painting an image of a bank building going up in flames.Not one visit. Two visits. Twice he had to answer subtle questions such as whether he intended to blow up a bank. Because his art is slated to hang in a gallery, but made someone uncomfortable. This is as depressing as it is stupid, which ranks a solid "Pretty Damn" on the Stupid-O-Meter.
Schaefer had barely added the orange-and-yellow depiction of fire shooting from the roof of a Chase Bank branch when police rolled up to the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Sylvan Street on July 30.
"They told me that somebody had called and said they felt threatened by my painting," Schaefer said.
"They said they had to find out my intention. They asked if I was a terrorist and was I going to follow through and do what I was painting."
No, Schaefer said. He explained that the artwork was intended to be a visual metaphor for the havoc that banking practices have caused to the economy.
A terrorist certainly would not spend hours on a public sidewalk creating an oil painting of his intended target, he told the officers.
A visual metaphor for how the banks burned us, and they just don't see it.