Obama is often portrayed with symbols of American power — the flag, an eagle — or in a lineup of African American greats from neighborhood VIPs to Martin Luther King Jr. and the first lady. In a South L.A. mural by Chuy Vasquez, a beaming Obama replaced a flag-draped MLK in 2013. The new image, which is still in place, puts Obama above and behind white, black and brown children pledging allegiance, the Statue of Liberty, a farmer at work and a giant parrot in the colors of the Mexican flag. (Two smaller images aren’t in the frame: a Central American pyramid and Christ atop a globe.
FOR THE RECORD
In Camilo José Vergara’s Op Ed photo essay, a bird in a Los Angeles mural was identified as a parrot. It is a quetzal.
“Obama es el presidente,” Vasquez told me, describing his work. “Obama es para todos.” Something for everyone — one muralist’s version of the Obama legacy.
Documentary photographer Camilo José Vergara is a National Humanities Medal awardee. His latest book is “Detroit Is No Dry Bones.” Camilojosevergara.com
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