As if there weren’t already enough public murals and graffiti-covered walls flooded with people taking Instagram pictures, this mural in Los Angeles is designated for “influencers only”. That’s right, you can’t even stand in front of it unless you have at least 20,000 Instagram followers or a blue verified check mark. Intended to promote Like & Subscribe, a scripted comedy on the Go90 streaming platform about YouTubers, the mural is manned by a security guard whose job is to identify the social-media elite and keep out the riff-raff.
Located on Melrose Avenue in LA’s Fairfax district, the mural is hidden from public view by a white canopy tent, as only the initiated, pseudo-famous Instagram 1% are permitted to even look at the thing. Justin Caffier of VICE describes the mural as “exquisite in its manufactured banality, a pastiche of all the worst Instagrammable street art trends of the past decade,” including the ever-recognizable angel wings and a “verified check mark halo, meant to signify the influencer’s divine status and superiority to the plebs who would never make it inside the tent.”
Caffier’s picture in front of the mural garnered mixed reactions on social media, ranging from outrage at the social-media caste system to disgust at the (intentionally) gaudy design to acknowledgment of the mural’s satirical spirit.