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MYSTERY SOLVED

Hey, didn't Uncle L. paint that mural?

January 14, 2007|Diane Haithman

ACCOMPANYING last Sunday's Calendar story on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was a photo of the mayor in his City Hall office, standing in front of a 9-by-13-foot mural of L.A. by an "unknown artist."

The mural, Villaraigosa's staff had told us, dated to Richard Riordan's administration -- but neither Villaraigosa's staff nor Riordan's representatives could identify the artist.

But the mystery has been solved by the artist's wife, who phoned last week to say the cityscape, "Primavera Tryptich," is by L. Ray, a native Angeleno who was working in Lakewood in 1996 when the mural was installed during an effort to refurbish the office to its original 1920s style. The artist, also known for his 44-foot mural for Long Beach Airport, says that in the mid-'90s he used to hide his signature within his work, which is why no one could find it.

L. Ray and his wife, Caroline Bingham, now live in Woodlands, Texas. Credit a nephew, Steven Cobos of Rancho Cucamonga, for spotting the photo in The Times.

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-- Diane Haithman

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