Rose Stencil, Echo Park
Tones, East Hollywood
Aniza Bobisa, East Hollywood
Peace, love and kindness for all.
Kai Aspire, West Hollywood
Consumerism is a way life in this country, and in the Western World. With companies and advertisers continually preying upon the masses, it keeps us in want of the new, but also in debt. We are jailed behind bar codes.
Kai Aspire wants people to effect change, whether that be speaking up in a community meeting or writing a blog post. Everyone’s voice matters. Be sure to make yours heard.
He feels the streets are an excellent medium to reach people because that is where the “negativity is playing out.” It is true: we are assaulted by advertisers with billboards, bus adverts, and even advertisements disguised as street art. The street is also accessible to everyone that walks, jogs, drives or rides their bike by. No need to go to gallery when you can be inspired every day by your surroundings.
Free Humanity’s most prevalent works include Audrey Hepburn and the diamond and the lotus, which is keeping with Free Humanity’s mission of “taking back the humanity stolen from our minds by social manipulation and planting seeds of of positivity through art and consciousness.”
The Audrey murals often include a quote, like the one above: “”The best thing to hold on to in life is each other.” You may have seen the huge mural on the side of the Subway downtown with “It’s that wonderful old fashioned idea that others come first and you come second.” As a humanitarian, Audrey has some inspiring words of wisdom, and Free Humanity effectively brings them to the street for all to see.
The diamond and the lotus is a Buddhist symbol of truth and has quite an interesting history (more). I once asked Free Humanity what the symbols said, and he said the, “Lotus Sutra and Diamond Sutra in Chinese.” A sutra is a text, and each of these contain important teachings of Buddhism. For example, “full Buddhahood” is achieved through “exposure to the truths expresses implicitly in the Lotus.”
Not only is the symbolism of the diamond and the lotus beautiful aesthetically, but there is so much more contained in these pieces of art work. With some curiosity, you can learn about the symbolism itself, but also the sutras and Buddhism. That little piece of art packs quite a punch, and anyone can see it and learn more.
Free Humanity isn’t always so light. You may have also seen more socially conscious works, like Alice in GMO Land and Winnie the Pooh in GMO Land, along with Yoda warning that “wars not make one great.”
Sand’s large eyed female characters are a favorite. Her work is all over Los Angeles’ walls and even trucks. Sand has been featured on Ovation’s “Art of Graffiti” along with other well known artists, like Man One. She has a growing number of collectors and is featured in galleries regularly. It is great to see a female artist with so much success in a field dominated by men. Now, to decide which shirt I want- Stacks or Bag Lady?
Photography by Robert Capa, Hollywood and Gramercy, taken July 10, 2014
Top: “What gave the drug free the right to declare a ‘drug’ war against the children, relatives and descendants of the people who fought and worked to win World War Two?”
Below: “(Above) The first assault wave was to hit fairly evenly along Omaha Beach, and then work inland through four exits. Heavy seas, the current and the heat of battle thew the landing off-kilter. (Insets, below and opposite) Famed combat photographer Robert Capa stumbled ashore with the 16th Infantry at the Easy Red/Fox Green section of Omaha Beach. Under fire, he snapped four rolls of ‘history in the making.’ Just eleven shots survived- including these three. (Opposite) Beach obstacles at Fox Green today, perhaps the very ones Capa snapped sheltering American soldiers.”
I stopped to take a picture of mural and a few feet away, this caught my eye. Actual photographs mounted and hung behind plexiglass, like a piece from a museum, it hung on a temporary wall with the above question and captions. Most people probably did not notice this piece of history and think about what it is asking or the photographs of D Day.
With the number of children seeking refuge in the US, we need to think about the War on Drugs, what it means for our citizens, the for profit prison system and the effects it has on people outside of our borders. To turn away children that are fleeing for their lives, due to our failed policies, is inhumane. Also, continually jailing our fellow citizens, many who fought for their country, for non-violent offenses, must end now.
Cyrcle, Santa Monica and Madison, taken August 26, 2011
Cyrcle, Santa Monica and Las Palmas, taken October 8, 2013
Cyrcle, Blue Rooster Art Supplies, taken October 22, 2013
Cyrcle’s “Cut it Out” floral gun was one of the first pieces of street art I noticed when I moved to Los Angeles. It was striking, beautiful and the message is one that still needs to be heeded. When a church took over the building, they painted over it. And the church only lasted a few months. When I drive by, I still wish it was there. One of my all-time favorites.