On a slab of plywood over the windows of a beauty-supply store on Artesia Boulevard, a rendering of George Floyd now gazes over the busy street.
Floyd was an African-American man killed by police on May 25, 2020 during an arrest in Minneapolis.
Darren Hostetter, a muralist of 14 years, felt driven to act. He bought $300 worth of paint and started working on a seven-foot tall portrait that emerged on the plywood covering the windows of Joy Beauty Supply, which gave him permission to paint Floyd’s likeness.
Protests and civil unrest had filled cities across the U.S. in response to Floyd’s death. Hostetter wanted to do something but suffers from asthma and decided a crowded protest would put him at an elevated risk of contracting Covid-19. He figured he could safely paint and in over five days he completed the mural.
Hostetter has taught art at Santa Ana College since 2007 and started his own mural program there in 2015. “One of the good things about art is that it can create a dialogue with people,” Hostetter says. And that is exactly what the mural did.People driving by saluted with their car horns; others stopped to congratulate hostetter.
Hostetter hopes to shed light on the issue of police brutality by continuing to paint murals of lost Black lives. “I would love to put murals all over town and beyond that reminds people to vote,” Hostetter says. “If you feel strongly about putting an end to this violence by police then vote for people who promise to stop it. “
Where the mural will go when the plywood is removed from the Joy Beauty windows hasn’t been decided.
"We'll have to find a new home for it," Hostetter said.
Darrens Instagram: @Darrenhostetter
Time lapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxEi8cWEIu0