Every piece of ivory comes from a dead elephant.
That’s the message of Damon Martin’s 2012 elephant mural located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.
Anyone who loves elephants (or has seen the HBO film An Apology To Elephants) will appreciate this.
The mural was created by Martin as part of a massive campaign funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which works to rescue and protect animals around the world.
“I’m completely inspired by the depth of their emotions, the depth of their intelligence, their social skills, their community, their leadership, the fact that they mourn their dead,” Martin said in a 2012 IFAW interview. “I think that there’s a lot we can learn from them.”
The family of elephants living in the Arts District aims to create awareness about the need to protect them against the illegal ivory trade.
The mural uses Martin’s signature “Razzle Dazzle” style, a technique that was used on warships in World War I and II as camouflage.
You’ll find it along several buildings on East Third Street between Traction Avenue and Alameda Street.
Martin also completed a mural of Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei in 2015 in the same cool style. It’s located just down the block.