Standing before an easel on a Van Nuys sidewalk, Alex Schaefer dabbed paint onto a canvas.
"There you have it," he said. "Inflammatory art."
The 22-by-28-inch en plein air oil painting is certainly hot enough to inflame Los Angeles police.
Twice they've come to investigate why the 41-year-old Eagle Rock artist is painting an image of a bank building going up in flames.
Schaefer had barely added the orange-and-yellow depiction of fire shooting from the roof of a Chase Bank branch when police rolled up to the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Sylvan Street on July 30.
"They told me that somebody had called and said they felt threatened by my painting," Schaefer said.
"They said they had to find out my intention. They asked if I was a terrorist and was I going to follow through and do what I was painting..."