Back in October of 1966, word spread quickly around The Cove and that weekend as we returned to our home in the Valley, this is what we saw:
The Pink Lady of Malibu
The only way to realistically get home was through Malibu Canyon and while the traffic was always heavy, on this day it crawled as everyone came out to see what all the fuss was about. There she "stood" in all her glory while onlookers and photographers captured her in their memories and on film.
I often read the Los Angeles Times online and last November this article appeared, along with memories of of this event that had the whole town talking:
From the Los Angeles Times - November 22, 2009:
Guerrilla Art in the Southland: Remember Pink Lady?
Artists with something to say put their mark on L.A. — welcome or not. Among the creations: a giant stamp, a 'sea monster' and the naked 60-foot woman above Malibu Canyon Road.
Not tickled pink
"In 1966, artist Lynne Seemayer decided she was tired of seeing graffiti on the rocks above a tunnel on Malibu Canyon Road.
So she spent several months removing the writing, then painted a pink, naked woman in its place.
For a few days, the 60-foot-tall Pink Lady "made more headlines in Los Angeles than President Johnson and the Beatles," The Times' Michael Arkush wrote later.
Seemayer, who painted the figure while hanging from nylon ropes attached to nearby bushes and pipes, was praised by some, condemned by others. She reported receiving marriage proposals and invitations to join nudist camps as well as death threats.
In the meantime, county authorities declared the Pink Lady a traffic hazard and said she would have to go.
As onlookers watched, workers sprayed her with high-powered hoses, then pelted her with paint remover. Both methods failed to erase the figure, whom The Times' Jack Smith described as "exuberant and free," holding "a sprig of wildflowers" while "her long dark tresses flowed backward."
Finally, the county dispatched men in harnesses, carrying spray guns and 14 gallons of brown paint.
Half a century later, you can still see a few faded splashes of pink paint above the tunnel. But the lady with the long tresses is gone, as are her wildflowers."
I think my parents knew this was a work of art and didn't tell us to look away. The Pink Lady of Malibu is now a distant memory, but I enjoyed remembering her and the carefree way she danced naked across the canyon with her black hair blowing in the ocean breeze.