Los Angeles artist ETMCA painted a coded 20-line poem called “The Ones” across ten large canvases. The artist cut some of these paintings into pieces and hid the fragments in Los Angeles used bookstores so readers can discover his “message art” in the real world.
You can read more about the project at ETMCA’s website. The project page includes a translation of the first five lines of the poem and digital images of the now-divided paintings. We’ve embedded the first painting above, which translates to: “This is for the ones that escaped, that live in defiance of the demise of a demographic.” Here’s more from the artist:
The motivation behind creation of “The Ones” poem, was to compose a commemorative work dedicated to “The Ones”, a figurative group of people that anyone can identify with as their ancestors, predecessors or “ones” that existed, sacrificed, or performed the work that has made the lives, livelihood, or pursuits we each enjoy possible. The “ones” that come to mind for one person may differ from the “ones” of another. However, this poem was created to give respect to ALL of the “ones”. The first five of these ten canvas have been assigned to Los Angeles. While the others are to be placed in another city (or cities), which has not yet been disclosed.
In the YouTube video embedded below, you can watch the artist paint the poem in his homemade “wildstyle” code and divide the canvas.