The street art of the artist who goes by the moniker Made of Hagop never ceases to impress us with the aesthetic vision of his work. We recently came across this newer piece in Venice.
Atwater Village in Los Angeles is where we found this stencil street art of a cute Sesame Street muppets-like monster on the sidewalk. (If you’re looking for it, it’s in front of Kaldi Coffee on Glendale Blvd.) There’s not a lot of this type of street art in Atwater, but it’s not much of a surprise to find it here either.
Atwater is a relaxed neighborhood tucked on a plain across the L.A. river north of and directly adjacent to the small mountainous areas of Silver Lake and Echo Park, L.A.’s long-established two-name combo of gentrified hipsterland. These two hoods feel very much a part of the city and have layers of grit and patination suggesting the edgy character of their pre-gentrification past. Atwater, on the other hand, only a couple of minutes drive away, feels like a quiet residential suburb a world away and is largely devoid of central L.A.’s gritty tinctures.
Yet it has captured the hipster overspill of cool restaurants and foodie haunts, third-wave espresso bars, indie book and record stores, vintage clothing shops and yoga studios that have signified the gentrification process in the Silver Lake and Echo Park for the past 10-15 years. With has come art and street art.
That said, there’s some hipster cultural heritage in Atwater. In the 1990s, the Beastie Boys ran their mini music and Grand Royal magazine empire from offices and studios on Glendale Blvd., Atwater’s main drag. They recorded their seminal sample-heavy album “Paul’s Boutique” there, too. Atwater is also home to what some consider to be among the finest tacos in Los Angeles. For a segment a few years ago on his TV series “The Layover,” Anthony Bourdain stopped by Tacos Villa Corona, a microscopic hole-in-the-wall Mexican food joint that the Beasties used to frequent.
We came across this awesome movers truck decorated with the artwork of artist and musician Luke Pelletier. The truck was parked on 3rd Street in Santa Monica near our Los Angeles HQ. Pelletier’s artwork draws on a colorful illustrative style and array of images reflecting Southern California and its beach culture. The “locals mostly” text painted on one side of the truck is reference to surf culture’s “locals only” cliche and a lettering style that emanated from the SoCal surf and skate scene.
Along Pacific Coast Highway, across from famed Malibu Beach and its iconic pier, is this amusing life-size stencil street art of a cat’s silhouette on a brick wall. The feline is depicted in mid-stride at sidewalk level as if casually padding down the pavement in search of the next meal. Next to the cat is the stenciled message “only fools litter.”
This hilarious wheat-paste street art on an old clapboard bungalow in Venice looks like a child’s Crayola drawing of a human body. Or is it a robot? No matter. Various parts of the body are called out: Eyes, mouth, hands, etc. Which reminds us of a children’s educational song, the kind use to teach kids in pre-school. But we think an adult may have had a hand in the creation of this artwork (aside from illegally posting it) because where logic would suggest the word “butt” it instead says “shit.”
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.
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.
This cheeky mural on the side of liquor store on Normandie Avenue in Hollywood depicts current U.S. President Barack Obama fencing. Unfortunately the camera angle wasn’t wide enough to show his fencing opponent on the left, Russian President Vladimir Putin. The idea of Obama and Putin physically battling each other as fencers is perhaps an apt metaphor for current US-Russia political relations and the nature of geo-political engagements between world powers. The mural is by Art Via Art.