Los Angeles is well-known for its Hollywood actors, glamour and splendor, and the lovely weather it enjoys all year long, but there is much more the city has to offer both tourists and residents. One approach to hitting the streets and exploring a town's many districts while discovering more about the locals and culture is to look into street art. There are some fantastic neighborhoods in Los Angeles where you may witness street art up close.
To help you plan your next excursion, we've put up a guide on where to see the most famous street art in Los Angeles, California.
Brief Insight into street arts
Many years ago, "to go to the streets" was used to refer to a public forum for protest, rioting, or rebellion. The first graffiti writers adopted this concept as they started writing their names throughout the urban expanses of New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia in the 1960s and 1970s. As graffiti spread throughout the United States, street art changed to include any form of unofficial art produced in public spaces.
The fundamental idea behind street art is that everyone should be able to create art and see it by others, regardless of their race, maturity level, gender, economic status, or other characteristics. It also believes art should be accessible rather than tucked away within galleries, museums, and special collections. Even though some art students make installations or sculptures, they are more well-known for using unusual art supplies like wheat paste, spray paint, stencils, and stickers. Street art has additionally been referred to as guerilla art, post-graffiti, and independent public art.
Accomplishments in Los Angeles Street Art
Ephemerality is a crucial feature of street art. Any public artwork that has not been approved stands the possibility of being demolished or repainted by the government or by other artisans. Nobody can purchase it or own it. Viewers are witnessing a unique piece of art that won't last. This transience gives the piece a sense of urgency and intensity.
Street art is frequently seen as a tool for advancing an artist's specific agenda regarding current social issues. City facades serve as the modern equivalent of the old-fashioned soapbox, allowing artists to express their opinions on various topics, from diplomacy and environmental conservation to consumer culture and consumption.
To ensure that their messages are seen by a large segment of the population, unmoderated by core demographic or being available only to art world denizens, many street performers use the general populace's canvas of building structures, overpasses, street lamps, viaducts, open drains, sidewalks, walls, and benches.
Why is L.A. the best spot for Street Art?
Numerous street artists have called Los Angeles their home for many years. Any outdoor activity is slightly more enticing here than in locations with harsh, dark winters because of the lovely weather all year round. Of course, that's advantageous for the street art scene, which thrives when it's not raining or snowing. There is a tradition for the medium here in combination with the lovely California sun. A thriving art scene exists in Los Angeles outside Hollywood's movie business. The city is home to many immigrant populations, each contributing its style, food, and culture. One way to experience the many inspirations in the land of angels is through street art. To cut to the chase, Los Angeles is an essential part of the history of Street art. This is the reason you find the best Street Art in Los Angeles.
Let us take a look at the top L.A. street art spots :
1. The Arts District Town in Downtown LA
Visit one neighborhood in Los Angeles for street art; make it the Arts District in the city's center. Beginning in the 1970s, artists started to relocate to this region of Los Angeles, where they held exhibitions, staged shows, and opened cafes and small theatres. Today, the neighborhood is still a favorite among artists, with murals appearing on buildings all around the neighborhood. It is simple to understand why this is an excellent location to spend some time exploring when you consider the restaurants and breweries (Angel City Brewery is well-known).
Owing to some conservation programs by the Getty, one of L.A.'s oldest murals can be seen while you're in the arts area. You'll be close to many attractions and not too distant from other L.A. landmarks when you're downtown. Here are some murals and locations to look at while in DTLA in the art area (or very close by).
2. America Tropical at 125 Paseo De La Plaza
Although street art has recently gained popularity, it was not always present. The city of Los Angeles hired an artist to create America Tropical in 1932 for the Plaza Art Center. The wall was subsequently whitewashed, but decades later, when it began to fall apart, sections began to emerge. The Getty has worked extremely hard to restore the wall. It must be on your itinerary because it is uncommon to get the opportunity to witness an artwork that is about 100 years old.
David Siqueiros is the artist, and he produced several murals during a brief visit to Los Angeles after leaving Mexico. The most important aspect is this. America Tropical is the full name. Tropical America is described as being "oppressed and destroyed by imperialism" in this phrase. You will see a Mayan pyramid, an American eagle, and a Mexican Indian crucified on a crucifixion with various Latin American emblems in the background. The artwork was made as a protest against U.S. imperialism in Latin America.
It's a terrific way to start your tour of L.A.'s street art while learning some historical context. Now that there is a complete interpretative center and public exhibition platform, it has helped protect the art for decades.
3. Bloom at The Neptune Building on Randolph and S Alameda Street
This mural was made to honor Joel Bloom and his community advocacy work while serving as the honorary mayor of L.A.'s Arts District. The artist is HUEMAN, who is renowned for her vibrant pieces. However, this is the first instance she has included text in her type. It should not be missed because it is one of the biggest murals in the neighborhood.
Other famous wall art spots in L.A
1. The Container Yard at 800 East 4th Street, LA
This area, which was inaugurated in 2013, is devoted to creativity. Artwork is all over the walls, and it is dynamic and engaging. For information on upcoming events and exhibits, see their website. The color and artwork are likely to impress even if you pass by.
2. The Elephant Mural at 298 Rose Street, LA
Artist Damon Martin produced this mural with funding from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The jazz era and Art Deco influenced Martin's distinctive street art. This elephant-themed black-and-white painting was made to raise awareness about the ivory trade and the problems it causes for the elephant population. It's a fantastic illustration of the kind of message that street art can convey.
3. Art Share LA Building at 801 E 4th Place, LA
A street artist's continually changing and developing canvas, and the Art Share building offers modest living quarters for artists. Unfortunately, many industrial neighborhoods in urban areas throughout the United States have started to gentrify in recent years, selling prices out to citizens. Still, Art Share provides 30 live/workstations for painters at less than rent to keep people in the art district. It can sometimes be referred to as the "coloring book of L.A." Because of the diversity you'll find there, this place is a must-see in the neighborhood.
4. Skid Row Mural at 6th Street and San Julian Street, LA
Although you may have heard of Skid Row in Los Angeles, it wasn't on your list of places to visit. However, a few years ago, the Skid Row City Limits Mural was awarded as L.A.'s best new street art piece. It was financed and produced by Skid Row residents to call attention to the neighborhood where the population indicator reads "too many." The architects meant it to help spread awareness of this part of Los Angeles, and they have plans to keep adding to it.
5. Pico Blvd in Santa Monica, LA
A fantastic approach to finding street art and experiencing some of the varied communities inside the city borders of Los Angeles is to drive through the city's streets. Santa Monica is a well-liked destination for tourists thanks to its pier and the lovely beach. You can find some fantastic street art by driving down Pico Boulevard. Kobe Bryant and his daughter, who sadly perished in a helicopter area, are honored in a lovely memorial. The image of Tyler Skaggs, the Santa Monica-born Angels pitcher, is another homage to a local sports star. Bide your time on your route to the beach to appreciate the many options along this strip, and be sure to pause and take some photos.
6. Ventura Blvd and The Great Wall of Los Angeles
This enormous work of street art was first created between 1976 and 1983 and then restored in 2004. The designer, Judith Baca, is responsible for overseeing each wall portion. However, it was a team effort. It began with the prehistoric and subsequently weaved through many other facets of Los Angeles' history. Native American tribes from the area are portrayed, as is the Great Depression, the internment of Japanese Americans during the 2nd World War, the growth of suburbia, and the numerous contributions made to L.A. by various refugee gourds. There have been discussions about going further into the city's recent past.
The original was created with the assistance of numerous local artists, who combined various styles and viewpoints. It is a massive mural in the world, stretching over six city blocks. On Coldwater Canyon Avenue, between Burbank and Oxnard Streets, you may locate it.
7. Wilshire Boulevard and Urban Light
Massive murals and wall art receive much attention in street art, but other public artworks are interesting. One of the most famous works of public art in Los Angeles is Urban Light. It's near the L.A. County Museum of Art entrance on Wilshire Boulevard. Since its 2008 debut, it has emerged as one of L.A.'s most popular locations for photos. Every evening, more than 200 antique streetlights are powered by solar energy. These lamps were first gathered by the artist Chris Burden in 2000. Since most of these lamps once lighted the streets of Southern California, it is a perfect sculpture for Los Angeles. Visit this site at any time, but the best is after sunset.
A Guide to exploring the Street Art in Lost Angeles
Los Angeles is a big city with many different areas to explore and many different attractions. This is a terrific way to be exposed to the town or if you've resided there for years but want to travel outside your area, take one of the excursions. Discover some of these fantastic works of art while learning more about the history of the streets you're traveling.
Worthy Street Arts spots in Los Angeles
1. Mural: "You Are Going to Be Fine."
Downtown Los Angeles is a fantastic place to go if you're looking for outstanding street art. In particular, I suggest visiting Row DTLA, which has numerous incredible murals. The moment you glimpse this jewel in Row DTLA, you'll experience a wave of calmness.
Artist - Leta Sobierajski.
Address: 777 Alameda St., Los Angeles 90021, where is Row DTLA.
2. The Honeycomb Mural at The Dots Cafe
Okay, so technically, Pasadena, LA's close neighbor, is where this mural is located. The entire mural is stunning, and as a bonus, it makes for the ideal pastel photo backdrop.
Artist - Geoff Gouveia, who is a musician.
Address: Dots Cafe is situated at 3819 E. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, CA, 91107. (alley behind the building)
3. The Faces Mural
Another masterpiece from Row DTLA! One of our favorites is this clean-lined mural by LA-based artist Carly Kuhn, commonly known as The Cartorialist.
Artist - Carly Kuhn aka The Cartorialist
Address - Row DTLA, 777 Alameda St., Los Angeles 90021
4. The Love Wall
You've undoubtedly seen Curtis Kulig's incredibly popular Love Wall on Instagram. It was painted outside the Smashbox Studios location in Culver City, and its vivid red color makes it a stunning photo backdrop. It has also been used in numerous engagement photo shoots.
Artist - Curtis Kulig
Address - 8538 Hayden Ave., Culver City 90232
5. The Elliot Smith Figure 8 Wall
Yes, the east side also features street art. This mural gained enormous popularity among music fans after appearing on Elliott Smith's Figure 8 album cover. Still, in more recent years, a bar stepped in and took up some of its valuable real estate. However, they tried their best to pay honor to the initial mural, as did Ma'am Sir, the eatery that eventually occupied the area. As a result, even though the mural has been significantly altered, it still reminds me of Silver Lake's history.
Artist - Unknown
Address - Ma'am Sir, 4330 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90029
6. RETNA x Lyric Theatre Mural
You're probably familiar with the work of RETNA, a well-known street artist from Los Angeles! This stunning black and gold painting were commissioned by The Lyric Theatre, one of L.A.'s most renowned theatres.
Artist - RETNA
Address - 520 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90036
7. The Hauser & Wirth Public Garden Graffiti Mural
An old, long-abandoned flour mill was acquired by Hauser & Wirth, who decided to leave much of the existing graffiti in place and hired artist Kim West to finish this wall as a complete mural. It's in the outdoor garden area, which is my favorite part of this magnificent structure. Bonus? It may be easily walked to for a self-guided street art tour on East 3rd Street.
Artist - Kim West
Address - Hauser & Wirth, 901-909 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90013
8. The Street of Love Mural
A female graffiti artist is one we stan! Greetings to Christina Angelina, alias Starfighter, whose exquisite artwork can be seen all around the city of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Art District is home to some of the best murals this town has to offer, and this one, "4th Street," was made in conjunction with Fanakapan.
Artists - Christina Angelina and Fanakapan.
Address - East 4th Street and Merrick Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
9. Rear View
If you are a Los Angeles resident, you've probably noticed the distinctive wall art throughout the city created by U.K. street artist D*Face (more to come on that). Seeing his incredibly vivid, pop art-inspired street art, especially Rear View (created in 2014), is always exciting.
Artist - D*Face
Address - W. Pico Boulevard and Federal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90064
10. The Global Angel Wings Project Mural
An LA street art compilation wouldn't be complete without angel wings, could it? I had to add Colette Miller's mural at the Angel City Brewery in the L.A. Arts District because it inspired the entire movement. Colette was one of the first to order a sculpture like this, and today you can find her wings worldwide. There are MANY "Angel Wings" in and around Los Angeles, including at the Regent Theater, Melrose Avenue, UCLA Extension, Arts District, and Beverly Grove.
Artist - Colette Miller
Location - 216 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles 90012, Angel City Brewery
11. The Rock, Paper, Scissor Mural
When the present residents moved in, they saw that the paintwork needed to be refreshed. This structure was one of the first in Santa Monica to hire street artists to enhance its outside in the 1980s. They contacted Risk, the original artist, to request a brand-new mural to give him the credit he deserves. The outcome? was a multi-graffiti artist collaboration that resulted in a colorful, large-scale piece of art.
Address - Cloverfield Blvd & Broadway Ave, Santa Monica 90404
12. The Mondrian Wall
The perfect mural for the exterior of an art gallery—clear, vibrant, and fitting!
Location - 1660 La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035, Artist & Craftsman Supply
Why is L.A. home to Street Artists?
Investment in Los Angeles real estate has exploded during the last 15 years. Investors have tried to make money off portions of the city that have been undeveloped for decades as Silicon Valley expands into the coastal regions of the city and L.A.'s central business districts grow. However, the city's street artists see another meaning in this priceless property. From muralists to graffiti painters, street artists have endeavored to "maintain real estate" since the 1970s. In addition, the Los Angeles street art scene has fought to preserve its depiction of the city's civic life, whether defending massive murals from little but damaging graffiti tags or making sure massive "bombs" are not bleached by city or state officials. With more than 100 artists and a timeline spanning four decades, "Art in the Streets" is also intended to be a historical exhibition.
Being an old street artist is difficult. It requires physical effort. In any case, little youngsters are vying for your place to paint or your position.
However, a few of the founders of graffiti art in Los Angeles throughout the 1970s and 1980s are still active today, albeit without necessarily running the Risk of going to jail. Additionally, they are being recognized for their lifetime of work in MOCA's expansive "Art in the Streets" exhibition, which debuts at the Geffen Contemporary on April 17. Thus, if you are on your trip to L.A., ensure that you explore some of the best Street Art in Los Angeles at any of the locations mentioned above. These are all great places and are so instagrammable.