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.