An Artist Turns Weird Stuff Found in the L.A. River into an Awesome Art Installation

Sure, the plans for the L.A. River’s multi-billion dollar restoration are impressive, but Billy Kheel’s all-fabric installation capturing what’s found beneath its murky depths blows just about anything we’ve seen out of the water. From invasive fish species to Four Loko cans, Kheel sewed and stitched a 15 foot-long by 40 inch felt mural of what you might find if you dove underwater (which you shouldn’t, by the way) with some research help from Friends of the Los Angeles River. “With the revitalization plan,” Kheel says, “what struck me is how now is an interesting time, before the river is redone with gastropubs and apartment buildings. One day we’ll want to look back at the river’s Four Loko days, its gangster days and Hollywood days. L.A. is constant movement and change. When you read the history of the river, it’s the history of L.A. I’m not sad. I’m more impressed.”

Here, a slideshow of some of the installation’s most awesome pieces with a bit of commentary from the artist himself. You can visit Kheel’s mural at the Los Angeles County Store in Silver Lake from now until June 19. He also makes some killer throw pillows that look like strip mall signs.

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