If you take a look around Los Angeles you will see that street art is still alive and well. I recently read an article in LAist that had some very cool pictures of the art that can be seen in the city’s various neighborhoods.
I have definitely seen the picture above when I’ve been in downtown LA. I think it’s on Spring St. or nearby. The name if the artist is ’JR in downtown’, and his street art is part of a project called LA Free walls. JR has a couple other pieces of art around downtown and throughout LA. Although JR gets the permission of the building owners to put up his art, it’s still not officially sanctioned by the city. Amazingly, there’s a 2002 law that bans large murals in the city. Even if they are on private property, the building owner has to get special approval from the city on a case-by-case basis. I’m not entirely sure of the reason for the ban, but it probably has to do with the endemic graffiti that can be seen everywhere in the city. LA apparently spends about $7 million annually to remove graffiti.
Another artist who has made some street art in LA is Shepherd Fairey, who became famous for the red-white-and-blue image of Barack Obama (pictured in the last post). You can see Fairey’s art on Melrose Ave, although I wasn’t able to find the cross street. Melrose is a nice drive though, so it’s probably worth a cruise along the avenue to find Fairey’s mural.
The complicated legal issues around street art remind me on the ongoing debate about the legality of the medicinal marijuana clinics. Since the passage of Prop 215 in 1996, hundreds of dispensaries have opened in the city. However, there’s been a legal effort to close many of them lately. However, this doesn’t apply to vaporizer shops – there are a few good ones in the city should you care to pick up an arizer solo vaporizer. Those can be used for aromatherapy herbs.
In any case, I am looking forward to seeing some more street art around town. I hear that even Banksy had a piece around somewhere.