Getting Cryptik

If you’ve ever been to Little Tokyo, you know how bumping it is on any given weekend. But the one place you should definitely check out, that won’t require you spending tons of money, is Hold Up Art. It’s a fairly new gallery that shows some awesome, intriguing contemporary art. The people there are super friendly and every show is different.

This past Friday there was a closing reception for the work of a painter and street artist named Cryptik and his show “Sacred Syllables.” He’s got a very recognizable style and I’ve seen his stuff on the street, too.  The show’s unfortunately over now but make sure to check out his site and swing by Hold Up to see some awesome stuff. I snapped some pictures of the show – not only was the art itself mesmerizing but the set-up was ambitious and made the show all the more memorable. The calligraphy you see everywhere is his own creation, influenced by everything from cholo writing to Sanksrit texts. The best part was that this writing was on plenty of surfaces, from candles to leaves. You might not be able to read it per se but it’s visually complex and only more captivating because of its mysterious quality. Check it out!

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.