Forego turkey this year. I’m not even doing a tofurkey. Just the (vegan) sides, which are the best part anyway, at least to me. Give me more mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.
Risk and Bio
Friday evening we turned onto Sunset from Santa Monica, passing the Risk and Bio side of the Sunset Junction wall. It is always a welcome sight, signaling almost being home. It had been there almost two years, lasting longer than other iterations of the wall.
Saturday night, actually very early Sunday morning, we drove down Sunset. My welcome home sight was gone. I thought maybe one side had just been painted over in prep for another mural. I turned in my seat to catch a reassuring glance at the Mear One side. Not only were both murals gone, but the actual wall had been removed.
Shepard Fairey (taken by Larimie Garcia)
One of my first days in LA, before even moving here, I walked by the walls when they were painted by Shepard Fairy reading Heart and Soul. Perfect for Sunset Junction. I wish I had taken a picture.
Septerhed (taken by Los Angeles Love Affair)
The next version was by Septerhed. One side said “I’ve never hated anyone” and then wrapped to the other side “as much as I love you.”
Septerhed (taken by The Dirt Floor)
After a while, it changed again. This time Gaia Street Art painted a God-like figure with serpent men. After a few months, it was time for another change.
Gaia Street Art (taken by Melrose and Fairfax)
Risk and Bio did one side (first picture), which remained until just a few days ago. CBS member Mear One kept up the other side until now.
I would have taken parts of the wall, if I had known it was coming down. I think it came a surprise for the community and the artists that it was being removed. One artist said they better get ready for “shitty tags,” which is true. Murals add aesthetic and keep tagging at bay. A landmark of Silver Lake and Sunset Junction is gone.
Ben Slow and Mear One
Mear One and Tyer
But, business must go on. Behind the wall, there is a small store that had been unoccupied for the past few years. Today, it looks like they are getting ready for new tenant, Johnson Motors, Inc. to take over.
I set out on a quest to find Halloween and Dia de los Muertos art.
I came across this devil by Pike. And then I found out it is actually a satyr. I didn’t know what a satyr was either, but it is a Greek mythological woodland creature.
It didn’t look like there was anything seasonal around, but then I turned the corner and saw a huge skull and woman with a half-zombie half-calavera face. This is what I was looking for.
Not far, I found more Tonesink down an alley.
Before they were zombies and sugar skulls, they were old Hollywood stars and then Tonesink updated the mural for fall.
And a bonus devil (yes, this time I’m sure it’s a devil) by Sonek.
Peintre X, Paris
Down an alley in Le Marais there was graffiti and paste-ups up and down the narrow walls. As I took time to scan the walls and study the work, there was a framed portrait with a gallery tag next to it: artist is not present by peintre x (painter x). The streets are an outdoor gallery, open for all to contribute to and view.
JR, Echo Park
In Paris, I saw some artists I really wanted to see, like Gregos and Fred le Chevalier, and so many artists I didn’t know, like Konny and Mygalo. But there was also some familiar “faces.” The streets of Los Angeles host a number of Parisian artists.
Kashink, Silver Lake
Though there are a growing number of female street artists, Kashink is one of the original and most recognizable. Kashink’s pieces are wonderfully colorful and depict four eyed men, usually with mustaches. She does murals, and some smaller pieces can be spotted in the Arts District in Downtown. In Silver Lake, you can find Kashink at Sunset and Westerly Terrace.
JR, Echo Park
Los Angeles is one of five cities, and the only US city, to be transformed by JR’s Wrinkles of the City project. Wrinkles of the City is a large scale project where JR photographed elderly residents who have seen the city change through the years, the people represent the city and vice versa. The blown up photographs were pasted seamlessly onto walls in Echo Park and Downtown.
Invader, Highland Park
Invader is all over Paris. It felt like every time I looked up or turned a corner, there was an Invader. Invader makes 8-bit Space Invader characters (along with other pop culture characters) with tiles. When Black Cat took over a laundromat in Silver Lake, they protected their red Invader during renovations, only to remove it after. You can still see the ghost of it on the side of the building. There was another Invader in Silver Lake, but it has been taken down in the last year. Sad! Invader is still up in Echo Park near Dodger Stadium and in Highland Park.
Blek le Rat, Silver Lake
Blek le Rat is one of the original street artists, pioneering stencil work and paving the way for Banksy. The stencils are multi-layered and depict classic art, political and popular figures, and original images with social commentary. Blek le Rat is at Living Room in Silver Lake.
Baron Andre, Los Feliz
André Saraiva aka Baron André isn’t French, but he does call Paris home and has been part of the Parisian street art scene since the late 90′s. His character, Mr. A is a fun, often dancing stick figure with long legs. Its simplicity is part of the genius. Baron André also did a series of concert posters with his fantasy line up (the ones I found included the Beach Boys, Phoenix, Beastie Boys, The Faint and Tame Impala playing the Wiltern). The posters are gone, but two Mr. A’s are at Umami Burger in Los Feliz.
This post also appears on Art Cricket LA’s blog. Art Cricket matches collectors to local artists from Los Angeles.
Jef Aérosol, “Shh!”
What is Adam, “Lost Kids” (behind, GZUP’s Mickey Octopus)
Edge, “Vote Darkside” and Taosuz, “Information Control Reduces Your Privacy” “Questioning Facts Seriously Harms You”
GZUP, Cost x Gadfly, ENX, Birdy Kids, Edge
The Pompidou Center, named for Georges Pompidou, a Prime Minister and President of France, is an architecturally interesting building that looks as if it is inside out. You can see the duct work, pipes and scaffolding on the outside of the building. Inside, there is modern art, a library and screening rooms. The Stravinksy Fountain is adjacent and and features colorful sculptures that move and spray water.
Surrounding the Pompidou Center and Stravinsky Fountain are walls of street art: a large mural, graffiti, tags and paste ups. There is a whole artistic experience outside of the museum.
The 2011 mural “Shh!” is by Jef Aérosol and is stenciled onto the side of the neighboring building, anchoring all of the other work around it.
Everything else changes, as street art does. There’s What is Adam, a Canadian artist that added his “Lost Kids,” GZUP’s Mickey Octopus, Edge’s “Legalize Brain” and “Vote Darkside” paste ups, Taosuz’s warnings regarding privacy and critical thinking (elsewhere, capitalism and manufactured foods), New Yorker Cost collabed with Gadfly and ENX and remnants of some Birdy Kids posters are still up. Konny Steding, an artist from Berlin living in Paris, has work on nearby walls. Not to mention the tags, graff and layers of wheatpastes that have been covered up or are peeling.
Outside of the Pompidou Center is one of the best places to be surrounded by art.
Fred le Chevalier, le Marais in Paris
Fred le Chevalier was at the top of my list of artists I wanted to see in Paris, and I knew his work was in Le Marais, where I was staying. What surprised me the most was the size of the pieces. They were much larger than they appear in all of the pictures on Instagram and Twitter since it can be difficult to capture and convey scale.
The detail is amazing and the style is sweet, yet haunting, like a Gothic Victorian doll. The characters are mostly black and white with a little red and sometimes yellow. Some of the work has poetry accompanying it; the one I saw with poetry (middle) was damaged and unfortunately unable to read it.
There is a book of Fred le Chevalier’s work available on Amazon. I would love to add a print to my collection so Fred can adorn my walls.
Gregos, Paris 2014
Gregos was one of the artists that I most looked forward to seeing while in Paris. I didn’t just spot one or two either…Gregos was everywhere! I especially like the tiny one on the open door.
Gregos is a self taught artist with over 500 faces (described as daily self portraits), mostly in Paris, but also other major cities all over the world. Learn more about Gregos on his website.