SONY via location scout Melissa “Zippy” Downing illegally paints over a Few & Far mural for a commercial.

(above) The Few & Far crew

A few weeks back I got the news that someone painted over the recent all female, Few & Far production on Gower Street in Hollywood. This was a real surprise to me especially since I have been organizing the painting of those walls for so many years.

(above) The completed Few & Far wall that lasted only two months before being covered.

Stopping in to see the owner of the property, he tells me that permission was never given for anyone to paint over the Few & Far mural. In fact, he was driving to work on the day of the incident and saw location scout Melissa “Zippy” Downing and crew filming horrible graffiti over the partially covered mural.

(above) SONY and Zippy Downing covering the Few & Far mural for a commercial.

He asked her what the hell they were doing? and Zippy responded saying that she had permission by the laborers inside to paint this wall for a SONY commercial. The owner told her that she did NOT have permission because HE is the owner and that nothing was cleared.

Zippy’s dumb ass ended up persuading the owner to let them finish filming, and assured the owner that she will have the mess covered back with quality work. Despite her promise, SONY wrapped up their day of shooting without finishing the wall. They passed the task along to some local writers who happened to be there as they were leaving. SONY let them know they were not coming back and it was cool to cover the mess they made…

(above) An attempt by locals to paint over the SONY mess

So I say FUCK SONY and FUCK MELISSA “ZIPPY” DOWNING, for covering a really cool mural with shitty graffiti, all in a sad attempt to connect with so called urban youth. If you feel that this type of unprofessional cut cornering is wrong please reblog / retweet this. Or if you want to let the dumb bitch know personally. Here is her card…

Melissa “Zippy” Downing (Location Scout)
(510) – 847 – 1539



  1. Another example of corporate GREED…and the peons who march to that beat. We will pray for her tortured soul. Pumped to fire up the Few & Far crew to spray some murals calling out BIGJUNKFOOD. #dunkthejunk coming to Oaktown and SF Oct 2012.

  2. thats the highest form of disrespect…few and far is getting global recognition from the art everyone enjoys

    • That is SONY for you and many other companies who don’t believe in us. A 1,000,000,000 dollar company like Sony that don’t want to spend a few 100 bucks to pay some real graffiti artist to do some real work… so freaking embarrassing to the culture and real artist who kill them self to live in this so call real world trying to make a living, but then higher wackass
      toys, to do wacky artwork on walls that have been bless by beautiful artist..

      • this toy word is being tossed around way too much, rime and every other writer that has respect now was in the “toy” catergory at one point so all the people that use that term loosly should realize everytime you use that word like its a bad thing could be puttin down the next cantwo saber rime bates, kems… i could go on for days and yea they suck for throwing up wack shit over a sick mural but how can you throw the term “illegaly” when guys like us paint illegaly all the time, it aint even a matter of illegal or legal permission or no permission, its a matter of corporate big wigs trying to make a buck and destroying a real meaningful peice of art in the process especially when the art they destroyed is part of such an important and admiral cause… but anyway rime you stand out to me as a writer because of your originality and honestly at first i wasnt feeling it but years later im always lookin at flicks and im def gonna cop some of your work btw let me know how i can cop an original canvas if you even work with canvas… keep writing dude

  3. Well, I guess everything that needs to be said HAS been said… but I’m still going to put in my two cent$ and simply say FUCK THAT TOY BITCH, FUCK MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS…

  4. i am a woman in a male dominated industry. i have worked my ass off just as the women who painted that incredible mural. i am freelance. i have no connection to sony other than photographing the art i see and admire while driving these streets every day. i wish those who would blindly act on an article such as this cared as much to wonder who i am or what i am really about rather than perpetuate ANTI-FEMALE sentiments and hate. but from the calls/emails/texts (‘fuck you bitch’ … ‘i wish you would die’) i have been getting maybe i was wrong to even care enough to explain.

    please stop. i never intended disrespect and the ‘facts’ presented here are completely false. i was not even present when the mural was covered, and i apologize that it was as a result of my inquiry. this is a summary of my perspective. hit me up if you wish to engage in a further discussion.

    On Jun 29, 2012, at 5:02 PM, Neil Corcoran wrote:

    > You’re a fucking clown. I hope you feel shitty about covering up a really nice wall with your terrible poser commercial graf. Hopefully everyone finds out how unprofessional you are and within 3 months you’re out of a job and sucking dick at the bus station.
    > Cheers!

    From: Melissa Downing
    Date: June 29, 2012 7:03:30 PM PDT
    To: Neil Corcoran
    Subject: Re: bad move covering that Few and Far Crew mural

    it goes without saying that i admire your passion for this wall and the art form in general.  i dont mind being called names.  cause more than likely, if i was you i would want heads to roll or at least to vent.  i would react the same way and blow shit up for whoever i thought was responsible.  but just so you know, graf isn’t something i take lightly.  nor is it something i have any wish to exploit.  it’s just a talent i don’t have but fascinates the shit out of me.  it has since i can remember.  

    as soon as the mainstream gets a hold of something it loses it’s edge.  i am aware of this as well.  its already happening.  i mean banksy got nominated for a fucking oscar for gods sake. but to younger writers he is practically a punchline nowadays.  its certainly time for someone else – with A MESSAGE – to shake shit up.  i hope
    it happens.  

    what i see of the most impressive artists is the desire to reinvent themselves once the medium/content gets stale. to push their own boundaries. to stay ahead of whatever they gave birth to that suddenly became popular.  so i guess if nothing else comes of this conversation maybe the artists who got covered will create something more amazing that what was there before.  I mean … isn’t that the point?

    melissa ‘zippy’ downing

    • I live in that neighborhood Melissa, and now I have to walk by that piece of shit graffiti everyday. Thanks for fucking everything up for all of us, can you please take responsibility and pay Few & Far to create another dope piece of artwork. What took place was unfair and you need to pay for restoration.

      • hey melissa it takes balls to admit you were wrong and fuck all these people that are basically crucifying you cuz they are jockin rimes nuts i respect you for taking the time to come on here and admit you were wrong no disrespect to rime but i know if i was acting like this mural that got painted over drastically affected my life i would need to take my ass out of high school and get real. melissa you fucked up you admitted it and called yourself out on it thats basically all you can do its just another opportunity for the artists of few and far to rock another production and as far as the drama goes, as much as it sucks to say there is more fuckin high school drama in the graff game than anywhere else ive ever seen so its not a surprise that yiu are getting attacked i would suggest taking action to make things right and get a mural painted over the whack shit and get skilled lagit graff artists and maybe this shit will die down for ya

    • In response you Melissa “Zippy” Downing,

      First off, your struggle in being a woman is no excuse for your inability to do your job correctly. If you did your job right as a location scout you:

      1. Would have secured a location with a legal agreement from the actual owner of the property. This agreement would be made available upon request.

      Instead you get a half okay from a non qualifying laborer working inside of the warehouse.

      2. Would have gained clearance from the artists whose work is being covered in the commercial. As with most corporate clients, they would have requested clearance for the art used or altered.

      Instead, you found a swap meet airbrush artist to paint a phony version of graffiti over the wall.

      You just showed up, set up, and destroyed that wall without any kind of clearance or respect. You are not fit for your job and I would be amazed if anyone hires you again!

      Save the corny speech about Banksy and how much you respect art. Your thoughts are cliché and are discounted by your actions.

    • I’ve noticed time and time again that women will resort to the “mail dominated world” excuse whenever they are put on the spot or their work is questioned. This isn’t the 30’s anymore, that shit excuse doesnt fly. Do your job properly and there will never be a need for excuses.

    • I was gonna dissect your response line by line, but rather than waste more of my life on this than need-be, I’ll just stop after the first two sentences:

      “i am a woman in a male dominated industry. i have worked my ass off just as the women who painted that incredible mural.”

      First sentence: “i am a woman in a male dominated industry” -In no way does this address or explain why you destroyed the Few & Far mural. It seems to be just a lame attempt at gaining sympathy from the very same people you disrespected. IE: “I know what it’s like to be a hard working woman, never getting the respect that I deserve in this male-dominated industry… -Thats why I decided to totally disrespect the mural you women worked hard on…” (???)
      It seems impossible to bullshit past the fact that you destroyed something that several of your fellow hard-working women (in a male-dominated industry) spent a lot of time and energy creating. As you can see by the mess your people made in comparison, it take’s more than an afternoon, a multinational corporation, and 6 cans of krylon you bought from WalMart to create something worth looking at.
      But lets be honest Melissa, you weren’t trying to make art; you were trying to make money; -by destroying other peoples’ art. -Other WOMEN who are also working their asses off. Except they were actually there, putting the time in. You on the other hand, were as you say, “not even present when the mural was covered”.

      If you had any honor whatsoever, you would personally apologize to everyone in Few & Far and everyone who had to see that bullshit that you and yours are responsible for. That’s not asking too much.

    • stop the bullshit….you scouted a location and set up a shoot in which illegal graffiti was done over a permission wall (without the permission of the owner). the whole groveling thing doesnt undo the fact that you and sony need to be sued for this by the owner of the property and of the graf crew you went over.

  5. I would encourage a proper investigation of the facts and legalities surrounding this matter, to discover whether or not she is liable for any damages, at the very least for the time, effort, and expense required to create the original work – one that she obviously did not find ‘incredible’ since she chose it for destruction. Was this trespassing? Vandalism? Deceit, in stating she had permission when she did not?

    • its funny that people are up in arms and ready to take legal action when somebody illegaly paints over something you appreciated but when we do it its different dont get me wrong im not on mellissa’s side at all but i question some of the bs thats being thrown up here

  6. Hey Melissa “DumbFuck” Downing…

    If it was such a big mistake and your so sorry, then rectify the situation!!!
    Contact the women of Few n’ Far ad make FULL ARRANGMENTS for them to go back and repaint the mural.
    Case closed. Anything less is unacceptable.

      • you never painted illegally before? the principal is your property or art was illegally painted over and you are bugging out about it but what about your illegal painting? when my shit gets covered its sucks legal or not but thats what happens and suddenly youre the victims, again we write it isnt permanent and when we illegaly paint shit i think its retarded that we get pissed when somebody does the same thing to us. hypocrytical! whether the shit used to destroy your mural was corporate or if it was just another artist getting up the fact you guys are buggn is hypocrytical

  7. Thank you all for your support everyone!! This was one of the walls for our road trip tour we did. We had girls fly in from Miami , New York, Seattle, Oakland and so on to paint this wall. It took 3 longs days to paint. We all put in money from our own pockets to go on this trip.

    We feel so grateful for you all backing us on this matter! Melissa, if you want us to create something new the paint sponsor IRONLAK gave us for that particular wall was $600.00 in spray paint. Feel free to get that back to us and we will gladly, paint something “new”. Sadly enough you will have to deal with your mistakes one way or another.

    Thanks Few&Far Women

    • you women rocked an awesdoem mural and the fact it part of a cause is the shit you guys are bringing graffiti art to another level using it to get a worthy cause out there and you guys arent just helping women writers but graffit as a whole it really sucks that shit happened but thats the nature of the game at its basic level keep writing and promoting/pushing this cause… btw this other women made a mistake why crucify her if she admitted she was wrong it aint gonna help anything to hve this high school drama shit going on we already got way too much of that in the graff world, anyway much respect!

  8. To Melissa Downing, thanks for NOT EXPLAINING ANYTHING and making sure your claim that you weren’t there is made public (nice attempt at avoiding responsibility.)

    You DIDN’T address any of the concerns in this article, and you owe those WOMEN (Anti-female sentiments? Who the fuck do you thinks these people are raging FOR? How about a whole crew of hard working women. I think the real anti-female sentiments are from YOU who is trying to make herself out to be the victim here after destroying the hard work of other women. Thanks for stepping on the backs of other women to make yourself some $$,) who PAINTED THAT WALL a public apology and to reimburse them for the time and effort they took to fix the mess you made of their work…and then trying to blow off the mess you made with some happy go lucky “isn’t the point to recreate and make something better of something destroyed? Teehee!” You’re not fucking cute and your blatant attempts to avoid responsibility for this mess is disgusting.

    From one woman to another, you’re a real fucking cunt Downing.

    • because she made a mistake she should be harrassed and have her phone blow up with fucked up texts and calls? that shits fuckin wrong and the fact its going on doesnt give graff writers or admirers a good image thats fuckin wack!

    • see response at bottom of comments. names of those responsible for the mural destruction have been stated and their contact info provided… do feel free to follow up!

  9. The statements in this blog post are misinformed. Few & Far has been contacted and has been given the facts surrounding this situation, and all further communication about this should be left up to the parties who are directly involved.

    What a bunch of cowardly, hateful people you are. You should be ashamed of yourselves for harassing a woman whom you don’t even know, about a situation on which you don’t even have your facts correct. These posts, emails and texts are disgusting, and are completely misdirected.

    If nothing else, please stop the threatening messages. They are totally uncalled for. Jerseyjoeart – you have a bunch of hateful comments up that aren’t attached to any names, so no one has to take responsibility for being completely out of line. You also encouraged your readers and supporters to terrorize a woman whom none of you know. This shows how cowardly you all are. All you have done is create a venue for hate, harassment and misguided persecution. Do the right thing and take this shit down. Nobody deserves this.

    • Briana,

      Here is an update for you…
      -Few and Far has NOT been contacted by Melissa, SONY or anyone who destroyed that mural.

      -Clearance was never given by the owner of that property. From speaking to the owner, he has told me that he has called Melissa repeatedly about the issue of using his property. She has since started ignoring his phone calls.

      – The artist responsible for the curating of art placed on those walls (me) was never contacted about the proposed use. This is something I would have never authorized.

      As far as hate directed at SONY or Melissa Zippy Downing, This is not something that I am encouraging. I simply presented the situation to my readers, made public how I feel about it, and gave people an option to let her know how they feel.

      That mural was a donation by the artists to the community. She along with SONY shitted on that gift, and should hear how people feel.

      • see response at bottom of comments. names of those responsible for the mural destruction have been stated and their contact info provided… do feel free to follow up! i know how deeply you care for Meme and Few & Far these days. by the way, $600 was provided to F&F as requested. have a nice life!

    • So if this article is misleading then please, share with us what the REAL story is? none of us were contacted for permission on this. We have yet to even hear an apology from Melissa.
      Briana guess what also wasn’t deserved… OUR WALL GETTING GONE OVER!! we didn’t come up with Melissa’s name out of a drawing hat! & decide to “bully” her because she was a great samaritan, obviously there’s some connection to her! But as she stated, hey it doesn’t matter, she’s now discouraged from even tryna tell us her side of the story. so guess what FUCK HER! and my name is attached to this [:

      • see response at bottom of comments. names of those responsible for the mural destruction have been stated and their contact info provided… do feel free to follow up!

    • are you seriously fuckin saying that? calling the cops?! thats just wrong by principal you might as well do the same thing to rime and every other writer thats painted illegaly

  10. Melissa… save your “I’m a female in a male dominated industry”, guess what? So are we Few & Far Women, so the pity party you were looking for has been DENIED.
    You’re in the wrong, and you know it. We can’t control what people are saying/feeling & were not telling them what to say. Joe simply posted this to bring it to peoples attention. This isn’t the first time murals are gone over by corporate, simply cause they DONT CARE & DONT KNOW! and its only common sense to NOT go over a well executed production. It wasn’t regular “street graffiti” that you were going over!! So next time, gather your neurons a little better before you choose to cover up anyone else’s work. I hope this has served you as a lesson.

  11. So why isn’t anybody suing SONY? This is like any lawyer’s wet dream and all you people are doing is just babbling on here.

  12. anyway the wall was a shit.. we talk about 2 shitty walls covered comeon!!! that ‘s not even a street art or graffiti is totally a shit …

  13. This has been going on for decades. Years ago I was part of a group that owned the Wallenboyd Theater downtown Los Angeles. We completely fixed up an old building in a dilapidated area of town. One day we arrived to find that a movie company had taken the initiative to cover our front wall with graffiti “art” as a background for a scene that they were filming. They defaced the property horribly, without permission, and then left. In that case we tracked them down and had them fix the damage, but in this case, how do you fix the destruction of the art?

  14. YOUR “SEVENTH LETTER” shirts are MADE IN ASIA by some poor underpaid laborers.

    • I don’t know what your comment is all about… or what does that shit have in common with this article?

      Am I the only proud owner of a mexican made shirt?

    • fuck you foo this is bout murals not exploited workers stfu and move on nobody wants to hear your boo hoo baby back bullshit. fuck off long live AWR MSK and TSL!!!!

    • ^ Gus Mate where the fuck do you think your computer or smart phone was made asshole as well as where the precious minerals for those devices was taken from? Your off topic and full of shit.

      • Yo, Seriously… If you think you have a point here, bring it up independent of this conversation. This is about this half-wit lady going over the Few & Far production. Your whole Sweatshop labor tirade is totally out of place here. Not necessarily invalid, just out of place.

  15. WTF!? Weak ass letter from ZIPPY POOP!! No respect! Totally without proper consent! The point byotch is that you fucked up. Real women doin’ some real work and you fucked it up! NOBODY hire her numbskull a$$!!

  16. Pingback: Sony Corporation illegally defaced Few&Far mural « Few and Far

  17. RIP LA WALL !
    Dear Melissa Downing, as a location scout, you can scout us some new walls, pay for our paint, plane tickets, hotels and food. That would be a step in the right direction of justice for the wrongful actions. It is a huge lesson for Sony and Melissa to learn about organizing.
    We have reacted, uncovered the deceit, now its time for action and justice to the tragic unforeseen events due to miscommunication.

  18. Real shame.. i had the same sort of thing happen to me before and ended up finding the person and painting there car i was so angry

  19. logged onto twitter to send her some bullshit. looks like she’s making an attempt to reach out to Few and Far. Hope it’s sincere.

  20. yo that is whack that they did that they r hella dumb and hipocritical. but u dont gota disrespect tha art of the writers that replaced sonys fuck up dont act like u werent once like those writers who were excited ta get a fresh wall to paint.

  21. Yo!
    im from Malaysia. 8 hours different time zone.
    Even this shit happen to our 3rd world country, we totally not agreed.
    I suggest Zippo lady to pay some contribution or something.
    I know u not have that kind of money to pay for paints and tickets, but at least do something to show your mistake.
    Or at least tell the world you really sorry.


  22. This the First of many Tweets I will send to this Man looking Child :
    @steakdrapes Un fucking believable you talent-less bitch . You would attempt to spray shit over some else’s piece. Ugly Man looking bitch!

    Every Day I promise to send this terrorist a Message to let her know Her dehydrated moose booty smelling mouth is stinking and lying

  23. UPDATE FROM THE SOURCE: i have since reconciled with Meme and the Few & Far Crew, with whom i have now established a friendship. Jersey Joe, are you still in touch with Meme or Few & Far? we both know the answer to that question.
    this ill-conceived and wholly inaccurate blog post was created in an attempt to impress crew leader Meme, whom Joe was crushed out on at the time. his romantic feelings were not mutual, and he has since parted ways with Meme and Few & Far. Jersey Joe’s claims to have ‘curated’ this space are full blown preposterous. how can you curate an LA wall when you don’t even live here and never have.
    it is also worth noting that Jersey Joe attempted to extort $3K from me when i requested he set the record straight, claiming i owed him ‘expenses for traveling to LA to clean up the mess’. in fact, Joe was already scheduled to travel to LA for an exhibition at 7th Letter. one which expenses had already been paid. check the timestamps on Instagram.
    Jersey Joe you are a fucking joke. you can’t manage an actual relationship with a woman so you use your art to indulge that fantasy, with imagery of naked women giving monkeys a blow job. get some therapy, bro. or just create an army of minions, get them drunk and make them do pushups while you film it for your own bizarre gratification. oh wait you already did that.
    after 6+ years of protecting the folks who ACTUALLY committed this act of violating the mural, i’m done. if you want to know who to blame for ‘this mess’, its Raul Gonzales – 323.761.3963 / @dadzz126 and the woman quoted in this ‘article’ is Sony’s producer, Deborah Burch – deborah@snogproductions.com / 805.234.6396. i was never on site during any of mural defacing. my hope was that Deb would contact Few & Far to get the mural featured, not to cover it. Deb may not have known ‘street rules’ or mural etiquette, but Raul certainly did. and the reason he didn’t repair the damaged mural himself was because he was afraid. instead of honoring his promise to the building owner to compete the mural in full, he hired 3 locals to tag it to cover his tracks. so there you have it, kids. the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.
    for the record, i have ZERO regrets about how this event unfolded, despite the personal insults and death threats i received as a result. this experience was a valuable learning lesson. it helped me connect and come to a place of understanding with Few & Far, one of the strongest female crews in graf history.

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