With the Out on Robertson Pilot Program street closure on its way out, so too is the temporary Born This Way Street Lane on N. Robertson Boulevard just south of Santa Monica Boulevard. The pattern of colorful symbols representing LGBTQ Pride and the array of diverse LGBTQ communities was painted over last week, much to the disappointment of Lady Gaga fans. When the mural remained past its June 30th expiration date, there was hope it had been extended for a longer period of time.
According to permit #ENC21-0537, the application for the mural was submitted on May 18, 2020 and approved that same day, most likely to keep a surprise element. The mural was installed on the night of May 22nd and completed the following morning. The expiration date was June 30, 2021. It was removed weeks after it expired.
Lady Gaga surprised the city of West Hollywood with her in-person appearance, which according to sources was several months in the making. She was visibly moved when she walked down Born This Way Street Lane. Fans rushed the superstar to take photos.
The colorful installation also coincided with the Abbey Food and Bar’s 30-year celebration that day.
The installation celebrated the ten-year anniversary of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” album, which was released on May 23, 2011. The “Born This Way” song became an LGBTQ anthem. The lead single has encouraged people of all sexual orientations, genders, ages, and races to accept themselves and others, and to embrace differences, reject prejudices, and feel empowered.
Gaga was presented with keys to the city inside the Abbey and the council declared May 23d Born This Way Day.
Like the filthy rainbow crosswalks located east of Robertson, on Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard, the Born This Way installation didn’t keep its vibrant colors for too long. It was dirty by the end of the day after it was revealed, so some people were happy to see it go last week.
Some community members criticized it for being a glorified billboard after learning that it was installed to promote the 10-year re-release of the Born This Way album—“Street enhancement,” wrote WeHo Arts Manager Rebecca Ehemann on an instagram post after it was referred to as an art installation/street mural. “This is a commercial sign. Not art. Intent and artist involvement is important. #notamural.”
The current black patch on that was once the Born This Way Street Street Lane on Robertson Boulevard is a sign that weekends will be back to normal following the end of the OUT on Robertson Pilot Program street closure. The West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously to conclude the program, which many critics opined mostly benefited the Abbey. With that said, it will up to The Abbey owner David Cooley whether the program continues till August 2nd.