When we saw this graffiti truck in Los Angeles a couple of days ago, we were for a hot sec transported back to downtown New York City, where such trucks are everywhere. The elaborate artwork on this truck reminds us of the classic “wild style” graffiti art that emerged alongside early hip-hop culture in NYC. While seeing graffiti art like this in LA is not unusual at all, it’s not as common as it is New York, where this blog was founded and where we lived for 15 years. The sight of this truck parked off fashionable Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice gave us a moment of cognitive dissonance.
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.
We recently spotted this truck painted with a graffiti art homage to Oscar the Grouch on West 47th Street in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. The trash can-dwelling Oscar is one the iconic group of puppet characters from the long-running and popular children’s television series Sesame Street. Graffiti and street artists have often made made use of characters from pop culture, as in this example inspired by South Park.
We caught a crew of graffiti artists painting a new piece of artwork on one of those graff-covered wholesale delivery trucks that seem to be everywhere in New York’s Chinatown and Lower East Side (LES). We’re not sure, but we think the graffiti writers might be Tats Cru (if anybody know, send us an email). The truck they were painting was parked on Essex Street in the art-fashion part of the LES.