Mandela Street Art Makes its Way to Malibu

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This tribute to Mandela is one of many seen along PCH in Malibu.

Driving along Pacific Coast Highway got a little more inspirational this past week after posters of Nelson Mandela began lining utility poles and boxes throughout Malibu.

The original oil painting was done by Los Angeles street artist Robbie Conal and reprinted on thousands of 18- by 24-inch posters to be posted all over LA and shipped to Capetown, Conal told LA Weekly. Conal has run out of the first 6,000 that were printed and plans on ordering thousands more.

The prints come in two versions depicting a smiling portrait of Mandela with the words “Walking” or “Dancing” underneath him. “Walking” is a reference to Mandela’s autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” and “Dancing” refers to the Mandiba shuffle, a move made popular by Mandela after his release from prison.

LAPD has tried to prevent Conal and his supporters from putting up the tributes, considering it vandalism, but the street art supporters seem to have persevered through the opposition.

They had patrols watching for us,” Conal told LA Weekly. “But we know that once we go out into the great desert by the sea there’s no way they can keep up with us.”