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.
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.
We spotted some new street art from artist Shepard Fairey in an unusual spot last week. Along Pacific Coast Highway, under the towering bluffs of north Santa Monica, there’s an abandoned, partially destroyed retaining wall where two new black-and-white graphic posters had been wheat-pasted. One poster is of draped triangle of the American flag. The other is a classic “Andre” Obey poster.
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.