There’s graffiti art in Santa Barbara, California. Pictured here is evidence in the form of a large graffiti throw-up in the wealthy California coastal town. The graffiti artwork is in the now gentrified warehouse district known as the Funk Zone.
This new piece of street art is by the Syrian-born artist Hagop Belian, who also goes by the moniker “Made of Hagop.” The artwork is one of a few by Belian that adorn the exterior brown wall at Gjelina, a popular restaurant in the heart of Venice, in Los Angeles. Many of the artist’s street artworks are in the form of fantastical, larger-than-life renderings of various humans and animals as black-and-white wheat-pastes. The artwork evokes a playfulness like that of a classic illustrated children’s book. Belian lives and works in Venice and his street artworks have become a recognizable part of the Venice landscape.
While we’ve always had a strong distaste for the most basic, utilitarian type of territorial graffiti tag — raw vandalism without taste — there’s an element of that aesthetic employed in this graffiti-inspired street art on a pair of doors on About Kinney Boulevard in Venice, in Los Angeles. The tight spacing of the letter forms and its overlapping composition are rendered in plain white on black. The paint drips to form root-like tendrils below the rectangular block of indecipherable text. The door forms a canvas, and the doorway with its white-painted brick forms a kind of frame. The over all composition is one of cohesion, boldness and abstraction made more mysterious and evocative by the otherwise restrained plainness of the color white. Love this.
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.
New York City Chinatown has a high volume of small truck traffic ferrying goods to and from the many small warehouses, wholesalers and workshops that call the neighborhood home. Many of these trucks have elaborate graffiti art pieces, like this one we caught turning the corner at Ludlow and Grand streets in the Lower East Side.
This roller-shutter street art depicts a multitude of Homer Simpsons (of “The Simpsons” animated TV series) in a state of free fall. The artwork is by the artist who goes by the name Jerkface and can be found on Eldridge Street, between Houston and Stanton streets in New York’s Lower East Side.
Epic street art mural by the international renowned street-artist duo known as the London Police (TLP) in Amsterdam’s Jordaan neighborhood. The artwork features the circle-headed, smiley-faced TLP graphic character called “the Lad.”
This recent wheat-paste street art piece in New York’s Lower East Side depicts a man in what appears to be traditional Arab headwear. The artwork has been partially peeled off and destroyed in a short time. The street art — if it’s still there — is on Broome Street, on that block between Bowery and Chrystie Street where there a handful of influential art galleries and the offices of fashion label Band of Outsiders.
We revisited the site of the Banksy 9/11 street art stencil in TriBeCa, in New York City, this past weekend. There was again a crowd of between a half-dozen and a dozen people viewing the artwork and — yet again — another argument was unfolding between a visitor and a local resident.
Somebody had installed a plexiglass cover over Banksy’s work to protect it from vandalism (ironic, right?), and residents in the apartment building across the narrow street were keeping a watchful, protective eye on the work. One of the residents admonished a viewer who was trying to remove the plexiglass and a heated argument between them ensued. The viewer argued that the plexiglass should be removed so that people can appreciate an unobstructed view of the work and see it as it was intended. The resident argued it should be protected and noted that already several people had tried to smash the cover by throwing bricks at it, hence the cracked plexiglass. Eventually the visitor walked off muttering that Banksy’s artwork “is just graffiti.”
Both people had a point. Their arguments underscore just how much of all of this is subject to debate given the circumstances and that the artwork is at once vandalism, illegal, ephemeral and of artistic, cultural significance.
Here’s some fresh wheat-paste street art by the artist “Pastey Whyte.” The “wheatie” covers an advertisement for the band Bastille on a building hoarding facing the West Side Highway in Chelsea art galleries district.
We caught artist Atom Rodriguez working on another of his many massive graffiti-art murals that dominate the buildings around the Kent Street industrial area near the waterfront between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, in Brooklyn. This one aptly enough is called “Brooklyn” and was still a work in progress when we ran into Atom early Thursday morning.
We like this large street art painting in Amsterdam’s Jordaan neighborhood of a man and a woman holding brooms, as if waiting to sweep up the mess of graffiti on the wall below them. We don’t know who the artist(s), but there a small “FUMS” tag in the lower right of the painting, so maybe that’s the artist. If you know, send us an email.
Street art and graffiti on a roller shutter at the Amsterdam offices of Sid Lee, a hip Canadian advertising agency, which occupy a sprawling warren of adjacent townhouses and storefronts in the trendy De Pijp neighborhood.