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Every Piece of Ivory Comes from a Dead Elephant

Damon Martin
Artwork Type
Media & Support
Public Social Services
Department of Public Social Services District Office
813 East 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA
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Latitude: -118.235779 - Longitude: 34.044347
Image: Every Piece of Ivory Comes from a Dead Elephant

Additional Images


Damon Martin's mural depicts an elephant family in Martin’s signature “Razzle Dazzle” style. It is painted on the rear wall of the parking lot for the Department of Public Social Services on East Third Street in the heart of LA’s Arts District. Martin was inspired to create the work after learning of efforts to protect elephants. He proposed to use street art to advance the ivory campaign which calls on people to join the Elephant March and to say no to ivory. “Elephants on the ground are in crisis,” said Martin. “I hope that my work draws attention to the plight of the world’s elephants and motivates people to take action in a unique way.” The elephant family is also symbolic of the services provided by the DPSS for the people of LA County.

About the Artist

Damon Martin was born in Anacortis Washington and moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school on a quest to pursue a life in the ‘arts.’ Damon soon found himself immersed in ‘The Greater Los Angeles’, where he discovered the unique inspiration of artists such as Jean Michel Basquiat, Raymond Pettibon and Charles Mingus. Each of these artists celebrated harmonic dissonance and this culmination of exposure became Damon’s early inspiration for his painting career. The artistic style of ‘Cut up’ and ‘neo abstract’ images collided in Martin’s first showings. Buyers from around the LA Southland united in a sold out debut. Early success in the art world provided greater opportunities for Damon to pursue ‘the arts’ in various forms. As a student of jazz composition, theatrical arts and fine arts, Martin continued to achieve substantial success in these various expressions. Martin has emerged onto the Urban Street Art scene with a large scale, multi- city mural project entitled RAZZLE DAZZLE. Inspired by the height of the Art Deco and Jazz Era, RAZZLE DAZZLE decommissions a WWI and WWII camouflage pattern painted on warships to mask their true form and direction. Like Jazz itself, the intonation and direction of the murals lines are often dramatic in nature.