Monthly Archives: March 2016

Obama “History” Street Art Sticker … Venice, Los Angeles

In 2008 street artist and designer Shepard Fairey created a colorful poster depicting then U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama with a single-word message “Hope” written on it. The image had a graphic, illustrative quality and was based on a press photo of the candidate. The poster was an instant classic of graphic design and became an important piece of the Obama campaign’s visual communications arsenal. Obama’s winning of the 2008 election sealed the poster’s iconic status. Eight years later, in the final year of Obama’s presidency, we stumbled upon an updated version of the same poster image on a rubbish bin in Venice, Los Angeles. Now the same iconic image is rendered in black-and-white version and instead of “Hope,” the word “History” is written across the bottom. The phrase “dustbin of history” comes to mind. Is the fact that the sticker is on a garbage bin a political statement?


Street Art Covered Sections of Berlin Wall … Miracle Mile, Los Angeles

Sections of the Berlin Wall covered with mural and street art (pictured below) have been put on display in the forecourt exhibition space of the Spruth Magers art gallery in Los Angeles. The gallery and wall face Wilshire Boulevard and sit across from LACMA in the Miracle Mile area of the city.

Two slabs of the wall display a mural depicting late U.S. presidents Kennedy and Reagan, both of whom famously gave speeches at in Berlin when the German capital was divided by the wall.

This exhibit is symbolic in several ways and notably for Spruth Magers since it is a Berlin-based art gallery. Spruth recently opened its LA outpost, its second after setting up a gallery in London. It will open up a space in Hong Kong in May.

The Binoculars Building … Venice, Los Angeles

The whimsical Binoculars Building — pictured below — on a quiet, mostly residential stretch of Main Street in Venice, in Los Angeles, was designed by architect Frank Gehry back in the 1980s.

It’s a local landmark and Gehry’s last building to be constructed in Los Angeles until the development of the Walt Disney Concert Hall two decades later.

In the interim, Gehry created the Guggenheim Bilbao and became one of the world’s foremost “starchitects” if not its greatest living architect.

The Binoculars Building was initially the home to the legendary advertising agency Chiat/Day (now TBWA/Chiat/Day), which grew too big for the space years later and vacated for much larger offices in nearby Playa Vista.

Since then, the building  complex has been home to many creative tenants including Google. The giant binoculars, by the way, are by the artists Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen.

It’s still surprising that the building is not more widely known.

Cheeky Street Art Send-Up of Donald Trump … Miracle Mile, Los Angeles 

Real-Estate developer, New York City fixture, celebrity, reality TV show star, and politician, Donald Trump is at the center of U.S. media coverage these days while he campaigns to win the Republican nomination as its candidate for the American presidency.

A polarizing, attention-hungry personality and demagogic political figure, Trump’s controversial views and bombast has in recent months made him the target of satirists and a subject of politically-charged street art by artists like Hanksy and Teacake poking fun at the presidential candidate.

Teacake’s circular wheat-paste poster on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles (pictured below) depicts “the Donald” on a playground ride holding what appears to be a sex toy. It’s funny street art as political commentary and as a mirror of contemporary culture.

“Life” Graffiti Art … Venice, Los Angeles

The word “life” spray painted in cursive letters on the back-alley wall of the Brig, a popular bar on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, in Los Angeles. So simple and beautiful.