For years we would see the wheat-pasted artwork of artist Spazmat posted around downtown New York City. His posters were unmissable. His street art was comprised of an iconic image: An illustrated portrait of a skeleton with a cell phone in its bony hand held up to the skull as if talking on the phone. The posters were usually rendered in a stark white on black. Informally dubbed as “Skull Phone,” the image suggested many things, among these the dangers of technology. We hadn’t seen Spazmat’s artwork in many years until we recently spotted one of his skull phone wheaties on a utility box along Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles. This one was printed in blue and white with a striped design, almost nautical in style and fitting for its location a few meters across the road from the ocean.
These repeated black-and-white “Deface This” and “Not Norml” (sic) posters of new U.S. President Donald Trump are funny political commentary and an invitation to a form of participatory art and creative activism. We’ve being seeing these pop up around Los Angeles the past week or so. The ones pictured here were on a utility box on Sunset Blvd. in L.A.’s hip Silver Lake neighborhood.
This wheat-pasted street art of two dogs is awesomely colorful and cute. It’s also tiny, smaller than the palm of a hand. It’s miniature street art, which is cool. But it would be even cooler if it was the size of a small building, because the artwork itself is beautifu and could have such great impact at a larger scale. The artwork is in an alley behind Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, Los Angeles.
We recently went to a series of meetings at a creative agency in Southern California. The walls of the conference room where the meetings were held were covered in wheat-paste street art. Most of the artwork was boldly illustrated black-and-white poster cut-outs of hand-drawn graphics in a comic style. Our favorite was a large graphic of a masked Mexican “lucha libre”-style wrestler. The artwork gave the conference room a lot of energy and a sense of fun, while showcasing the tastes of the company’s creative team.
. . .
The cheeky message of this wheatpaste street art posted on a back-alley dumpster is unequivocal. Using a graphical, copy-paste collage style, the poster could be interpreted as form of commentary on the inherent narcissim of self-photography and image-making that is a by-product of social media. “Selfie This” offers a middle-fingered salute as hilarious insult, a visual offense that can be used for ironic, humorous effect by anybody taking a selfie with this poster. Which was probably the point. Look for it in the alley behind the restaurant Gjelina on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, is Los Angeles.
Here’s another one of those Vegan Club wheat-pasted street art posters that have been popping up all over Los Angeles and New York. The posters have a guerla-marketing quality and are usually two-toned single color prints of a pop-cultural icon rendered in high-contrast. The one pictured here is on a utility box on the pavement off Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, in Los Angeles. There seem to be tons of these in Silver Lake and neighboring Echo Park.