Artistic Graffiti – Los Angeles Style

Jun 24, 2010 by Lisa Newton

While I was taking photographs for Travelin’ Local’s most recent Sunday Afternoon at the Theatre, story, I passed the rear of a building that caught my eye.

Typically, artists will not only find art in the most expected places but the opposite as well. Usually people find the most interesting aspects of a building on the front side, but I’ve learned that when taking photos, I have to look at my subject from as many angles as possible.

What does all this have to do with graffiti?

Well, that’s what I found on the building’s rear exterior—artistic graffiti.

According to the Los Angeles Graffiti Ordinance, “Graffiti” is defined as:

Any form of unauthorized inscription word, figure, or design, which is marked, etched, sketched, or drawn, sprayed, painted, or otherwise affixed to or on any surface of public or private property, included by not limited to, buildings, walls, signs, structures or places, or other surfaces, regardless of the nature of the material of that structural component.

The key word in the above definition of graffiti is “unauthorized.” Obviously this definition can be understood from the perspective of the public good.

At the same time it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying some “unauthorized” sprayed painted wall, while it lasts. I know that as soon as the Graffiti Removal people at the LA Public Works Department find time, they’ll remove it.

But, to me and for many others who once viewed graffiti as only an eyesore its grown in its scope, size, and appreciation. To be frank it’s now not only part of our national culture, much of today’s graffiti has character, beauty, and artistic flare. Even though more often than not it’s unauthorized–it still has value, attractiveness, and it’s still art no matter what label is slapped on it.

Graffiti has also gone International, but that’s a story for a different day.

What first caught my eye on this particular building was the symmetry of the various writings, with each one of them on each of the stair’s landing.

As shown below, the color, shape, and small details take the building into a form of public art. Indeed, looking at it up closer it becomes even better to be able to appreciate the outlaw artisan’s talent.

So here are a few pictures I took from the top of the building to the bottom:

Los Angeles is always a study in the amorphous relationship between city and its inhabitants, a place that’s between reality, and dreaming. What was once a cultural dilemma is now a cultural phenomena and reality, and one that many of us have come to appreciate and enjoy.

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Art, Culture, Downtown, Los Angeles

One Response to “Artistic Graffiti – Los Angeles Style”

  1. Adventure-Some Matthew says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love finding good graffiti around home. It’s a delight to discover art where it’s unexpected.
    Adventure-Some Matthew´s last blog ..Take a Hike My ComLuv Profile

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