Who’s that Chick? — Rosie

As I’ve come to learn, stickers might be the easiest way to get your stuff out on the streets. But I’m always pleased to see the different ways artists create their own style within a tiny amount of space.

Walking down a busy street, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary until my eyes happened to roam over the side of an (sadly) abandoned newspaper stand.

I thought it was the perfect backdrop – the red of the stand made the little heart pop out even more. It’s a very simple design but that’s what makes it so great – some sticker artists try to pack two much into two little space. The little character is also unique – her hair is a bunch of little circles and one eye is huge, while her nose is tiny. She also has no legs. So basically, she’s not your usual little cutesy Sharpied character. Hopefully there are many more ‘rosies’ out there.

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Familiar Face — Another El Mac and Retna Find

I’ve driven by some streets multiple times before I finally force myself to swerve in the direction of the art I’ve spotted there. For months, I knew about this piece but never got the chance to photograph it up close. Finally, much to the consternation and fear of my surprised passenger, I turned around a few streets to snap a picture of this piece.

The mural is another awesome creation by artists El Mac and Retna. You can see some photos of them working on the mural, which they titled “The Knight,” here. The two have teamed up plenty of times and provided Los Angeles with some really intricate pieces. Retna does the lettering in the background, while El Mac tackles the figures. Both artists create complex pieces that fit beautifully together; you can look closely at Retna’s letters and try to find a pattern while discovering some detailed swirls on the surface of El Mac’s figures.

I’m sad about the tag that’s over the piece, especially since I don’t remember seeing it before. Either way, you can’t cover up all the great details within the work.

Sure makes parking, biking and walking through here a completely different experience. That’s the best part about talented artists taking to the streets – it changes your perception of the streets around you, simply through the power of a single mural.

Between a Palm Tree & a Produce Store — Sand One

As fun as it is to have there be mystery around a piece of street art – some of them aren’t signed in any way – it’s nice when you get the artist’s signature right under any given piece of street art.

A casual stroll on Fairfax gives you plenty of opportunities to spot some street art and on this particular walk, I was snapping away like a frenzied, overly-excited tourist. Behind a huge palm tree and on the way of the Three Amigos produce store, I found this particular gem.

I love the girl’s eyelashes. I’ve seen that style on other walls, too and it always amazes me, especially on a wall this big! This particular gal’s also got some awesome hair that curls all the way down to the bottom of the wall. Even her big pink lips have spots with white that make them look more realistic.

And interestingly enough, this artist had both her name and website on the her piece. She’s a great artist that’s created some really awesome works and when I looked through other pics in my handy memory card, I came across another piece she did on the side of a bar in Culver City. Any good street artist gets their name across the city- that’s how you know they mean business. Sand One is no exception.

This girl is equally detailed and I’m loving her long nails and the bottle she’s holding. Female artists usually get that bad wrap about making ‘feminine’ art but I love Sand One’s pieces but they are somehow feminine, gritty, humorous (the XX bottle is pretty witty) and eye-catching.

I can’t remember where I spotted this next one, but the style is very much hers.

Just further evidence that girls can rock the streets too. Check out her website to shop for handbags, shirts and more that rep her street art. Oh, and to make her even more legit, I found an interview on Laist from 2011 that talks about her having a lot of art up around Los Angeles at the young age of 19. You’re never too young to start!

Shaping Up to Be a Sticker Art Star

So I’ve done a few posts about sticker art but I’m quite intrigued by this artist mostly because I can tell he/she really wants to be found.

Because I saw about six stickers in the span of 10 minutes on a walk of only about 5 or 6 blocks.

It’s a simple sticker made up of three trapezoids stacked to create an upside down triangle in the middle. All of it is in a white circle with a black outline.

Definitely a symbol for something. Whatever it is, I kept finding sticker after sticker with every few steps I took. Someone took the time – and went to some good heights – to post their stickers anywhere a careful or even not-so-careful observer could see them. These are only a few of the ones I spotted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over-eager or admirably determined? You decide.

Meanwhile I’m curious to know the artist. Send me a message? If not, stay mysterious. That’s always cool too. I’ll be seeing your stickers.

 

Girls Can Do Street Art, Too

Talking about women and art might be a worn subject by now or you might say this is a post oozing with feminism, but it’s interesting to note that most of the time the first names that pop up when talking about street art are those of men. At least that’s what I’ve noticed from talking to people who are only slightly interested in street art and those who are a tad bit more obsessed with the phenomenon.

But that doesn’t mean there AREN’T any women artists out there. Since decades ago, there have been women also going behind the police’s back to post their art. I imagine putting on the same dark outfit, pulling on a hoodie and getting to work.

Back when plenty of guys were posting their art on New York subway trains, Ecuadorian artist Lady Pink decided to join in on the fun. She became such an important figure in street art of the late 70s/early 80s; she was even featured in Wild Style, a much-revered film from 1983 that also features legendary graffiti figures like Lee Quinones and Fab 5 Freddy.

Fast-forward a couple of decades and you’ve got artists like Swoon, who I mentioned in an earlier post and who was in the Museum of Contemporary Art exhibit “Art in the Streets” this past summer. The women’s styles and mediums are completely different – decades after the New York subway train graffiti movement, street art has evolved and it has done so thanks to the help of a few innovative minds, including women artists.

Another artist with her own quirky style is Becca, a street artist who started out in the late ’80s. I found this piece while on a quest to find other pieces.

She was an important street artist in Los Angeles in the ’90s when the street art movement hadn’t really taken off yet. And like any good street artist, she’s got a style that makes her pieces easy to recognize. They’re usually vintage-style figures that remind me of old-school Barbies. She also signs all her pieces with the same lower case b and the same crayon-esque look. Her work has been everywhere from Beverly Hills to Downtown Los Angeles.

All street art pieces have names/signatures near them but if you walk around enough, at least some of the pieces you see are by women, too. Thus, the street/graffiti art is not just for guys. Girls can have their fun, too.

I agree with something Becca told The Dirt Floor in an interview last year and I think it sums up nicely how art, and by inclusion street and graffiti art, is universal.

The question was “Why should people care about art?” to which Becca responded: “Because art can be mind blowing and strengthen your heart.” Truer words have never been spoken.

Sound off in the comments about Becca, women and street art and anything in between!

Poster Art Paradise

The life of a street artist, at least when he/she is posting up some badass art, is a bit of a paradox sometimes. On the one hand, they are scouting out the darkest alleys and most abandoned streets and one the other they seek the most visible buildings and street signs.

Lucky for some of the inhabitants of Los Angeles, some street artists seek out both. So you can spot awesome street art when you’re driving or you can come across it where you least expect it.

The best is when you get lost. I’ve a penchant for getting lost as is obvious by some of these posts but it pays off when I stumble across walls like this one…

Somehow a group of street artists decided this was their wall. It probably started out with one poster and bloomed into the beautifully crowded wall you see here. There were funny phrases (the above wall has a poster near the bottom that says “You know I’m allergic to ugliness”), political statements and plenty of faces, both fictional and real.

If Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t legit enough, how about fictional detective Robert T. Ironside? “Ironside” was this show from the ’60s. I used to watch it all the time on KDOC; it’s basically about a guy in a wheelchair who nabs the bad guys. Legit.

The political messages were pre-tty clear.

It was a fairly large wall and almost every inch of it was covered…

There were a few pieces that especially caught my eye. This one looks very much like a Banksy piece…

Shepard Fairey‘s face was also looking out from all the posters…

I took some closer shots to peek at some posters a little closer.

I saw this guy at the Mr. Brainwash show not too long ago! Though I didn’t post the photo because it wasn’t great. But apparently this guy likes to travel.

Not even the dumpsters were safe.

See that bright pink spot on the left?? That’s another guy that kept popping  up everywhere…

There was a really huge awesome piece that I later found was done by Cryptik, an artist who creates pieces with his own type of calligraphy.

As I kept walking I noticed some pieces on the floor too…

It looked like that giant hand said ‘count the wavs.’ Clever, no?

The funniest piece was this Banksy one…

Thankfully there weren’t any barking dogs around.

So there you have it, a good 30 minutes spent snapping pics of art that randomly jumped out at me while I was walking. I got lost on purpose because I wanted to find some good art and thankfully I found quite the street art hot spot before I found my way back.

Einstein Lives On

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One of the best ways to get your street art noticed is by choosing someone famous. An average Joe or Jane walking down the street is more likely to notice a piece of street art if it’s the larger-than-life image of a famous person.

Movie stars or political figures are the obvious ones but how about choosing to depict a physicist? Someone like, say, Einstein?

The beautiful thing about street art is that you can be walking down any street absentmindedly staring at your feet and suddenly the image of Einstein can be staring back up at you.

Do you think everything is relative? This artist might think so. Or maybe it’s a joke. I wonder if Einstein would approve.