Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Brown's art frightfully, well, frightening

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Chris Brown's murals are apparently scaring the neighbours' children.

BARBARA DAVIDSON / MCT Enlarge Image

Chris Brown's murals are apparently scaring the neighbours' children.

LOS ANGELES -- Grammy-winning musician Chris Brown's neighbours are unhappy with what some are calling frightening art he's chosen to have painted along the curb of his Hollywood Hills home.

A neighbourhood group said the grimacing, sharp-toothed, red-eyed goblins painted along a retaining wall have been scaring children and is an eyesore to boot, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"There are lots of babies, lots of children, and they're literally frightened. It's like devils on the wall -- big, scary eyes and big, scary teeth, and just the whole vibe is not what we're used to," Patti Negri, president of the Hollywood Dell Civic Association, told the newspaper.

L.A. city code officials responded to complaints about the monster art and cited the Run It! singer $376 for unpermitted and excessive signage.

Under city ordinances, it's illegal to create murals on most private properties, though that didn't stop Madonna from painting her Hollywood Hills home in red and yellow stripes in the 1990s.

Brown has been ordered to remove the goblin paintings within 30 days, but his attorney, Mark Geragos, said the musician is not backing down.

"They are trying to suspend the First Amendment," Geragos said.

Geragos alleges neighbours are harassing Brown and have also made parking complaints about him and called animal control.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Negri said all she wants is for Brown to "tone it down and be a better neighbour."

Brown's tumultuous relationship with singer Rihanna and foul-mouthed Twitter presence have given him a bad-boy reputation.

Brown won a Grammy in 2011 for Best R&B Album with F.A.M.E. and was arrested shortly after the 2009 awards ceremony for assaulting Rihanna.

"I know a $300 fine is probably pocket change. But hopefully and maybe he'll just see the light and decide to be a good neighbour," Negri told the Times. "We're happy to have him -- if he just tones it down."

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 13, 2013 D2

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