Seen on the Street

Unknown Artist, Sunset west of Highland

Unknown Artist, Sunset west of Highland

Nothing against museums, but there’s something really cool about artists who put their work right out on the street. A, it’s free. B, it makes walking around the city so much more interesting. And C, the best street art engages you in a way that’s more immediate than the experience you get in a museum. You’re strolling down to the liquor store to get a six pack and bang, you run up against something somebody stuck on the side of a building. Or a chalk drawing on the sidewalk. Or a billboard towering overhead.

It’s interesting how people’s attitudes to street art have changed. Back in the 70s guys who went around blasting walls with spray paint were vandals. Ten years later a lot of those same guys were showing their stuff at the Whitney Biennial. You can still find artists who sneak around with an aerosol can in the dead of night, but you can also find artists doing large scale public projects with backing from a foundation.

Here’s a sampling of some stuff I’ve found roaming around LA….

People are constantly pasting stuff up all over Hollywood. A lot of it’s junk, but this caught my eye one morning as I walked past the Pacific Theatre.

Unknown Artist, Wilcox north of Hollywood

Unknown Artist, Wilcox north of Hollywood

These images of bottles have been showing up in various places over the past year or so. Honestly, I can’t figure out what it’s about, but I think they’re kind of cool.

Unknown Artist, Beverly near Detroit

Unknown Artist, Beverly near Detroit

Unknown Artist, Cahuenga near Franklin

Unknown Artist, Cahuenga near Franklin

Unknown Artist, Cahuenga near Franklin

Unknown Artist, Cahuenga near Franklin

Is anything more tempting to guerilla artists than an abandoned structure? This building at the corner of Argyle and Yucca was demolished a while ago, but I got a few photos before it disappeared.

Unknown Artists, Yucca and Argyle

Unknown Artists, Yucca and Argyle

This is a shot of the same building from the freeway.

Unknown Artists, Yucca and Argyle

Unknown Artists, Yucca and Argyle

Some artists keep it simple and rough.

Unknown Artist, Wilcox north of Sunset

Unknown Artist, Wilcox north of Sunset

Others spend a lot of time and effort to make it as polished as possible.

D*Face, Santa Monica near Flemish Lane

D*Face, Santa Monica near Flemish Lane

The image above is by D*Face, a classic example of someone who started out doing his own thing on the street, and over time became an established professional. To see more of his work, check out his site.

D*Face

Sometimes it’s a political statement.

Unknown Artist, Wilcox near Hollywood

Unknown Artist, Wilcox near Hollywood

Unknown Artist, Wilcox near Franklin

Unknown Artist, Wilcox near Franklin

Other times it’s just a statement.

Unknown Artist, Selma and Ivar

Unknown Artist, Selma and Ivar

Unknown Artist, Sunset near Gardner

Unknown Artist, Sunset near Gardner

I was out in Boyle Heights a while ago and I saw these banners decorating a fence that surrounded a construction site.

A row of banners at a construction site, First and Boyle

A row of banners at a construction site, First and Boyle

Lesther Cabrales, First and Boyle

Lesther Cabrales, First and Boyle

Izzy Jaquez and Diego Escamilla, First and Boyle

Izzy Jaquez and Diego Escamilla, First and Boyle

I was told that the project was put together by Self Help Graphics, a non-profit that’s been serving local communities for over forty years. Here’s the link.

Self Help Graphics & Art

Found this at a construction site in Downtown. Somehow it really seems to capture the vibe in LA right now.

Unknown Artist, Fifth west of Broadway

Unknown Artist, Fifth west of Broadway

I think I saw this at a construction site on Hill. Honestly, I can’t remember exactly where it was.

Unknown Artist, Unknown Location

Unknown Artist, Unknown Location

Obviously phone kiosks aren’t getting a lot of use these days. Local artists have come up with lots of different ways to transform them.

Unknown Artist, Hill near Fourth

Unknown Artist, Hill near Fourth

I’d seen these giant faces peering down from walls around town, but I didn’t realize they were part of a project by this guy who calls himself JR. Follow the link below to find out more. There’s a video you can watch that gives the lowdown.

Wrinkles of the City at DesignBoom

JR, Fifth near Main

JR, Fifth near Main

JR, Alameda and Traction, rear of building

JR, Alameda and Traction, rear of building

The image above can be found in back of Angel City Brewery on Alameda. And the mural you see below is right next to it.

Dabs & Myla and How & Nosm, Alameda and Third, rear of building

Dabs & Myla and How & Nosm, Alameda and Third, rear of building

Finally this billboard by Robert Montgomery on Broadway near the UA Theatre. Not much to say about this one. I’ll let the work speak for itself.

Robert Montgomery, Broadway near Ninth

Robert Montgomery, Broadway near Ninth

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