Interactive experiences featuring everything from ice cream and candy to happiness and selfies are literally popping up all over Los Angeles. In fact, I admit I thought I might finally be over it (gasp), even deciding to skip both the selfie and illusion museums, until I heard about LA’s most recent pop up experience: Beyond the Streets: Vandalism as Contemporary Art. The exhibition features graffiti, street art, and you guessed it… beyond. You know I wasn’t missing this!
And really, is there an art form more suited to a pop up museum? With its temporary nature graffiti and Street Art are about as pop up as it gets. One day a blank wall, the next a fabulous larger than life mural, and maybe the next the entire building is gone…
Unlike other recent “museum” pop ups Beyond the Streets really felt like a museum and less like an Instagram marketing opportunity. Not that there weren’t a few Insta moments available, and how could I resist posing with these fabulous LA Hands by OG Slick?!
Beyond the Streets Los Angeles
Beyond the Streets encompasses 40,000 square feet and features graffiti and street artists from around the world. However, it was by no means a complete list. In my exploration of this art form I’ve discovered countless artists and discover more every day, but this was a great selection. Many of the pieces were created on site specifically for this exhibition.
There are differing opinions as to whether graffiti and street art are one and the same. I strongly believe that just because a piece is technically graffiti doesn’t mean it isn’t art. Though not all graffiti is art. Along those same lines not all street artists are graffiti writers. These artists may not always be painting in traditional settings, but as soon as you take their work off the streets and put it into a museum setting it becomes immediately clear that it belongs as much as any other contemporary art.
When viewing graffiti and street art out on the street we often don’t know what the artist was thinking, or why they painted a particular piece. Beyond the Streets gives us the opportunity to gain some insight into the different artists and the inspiration behind their work. Many of them use their medium to convey political and social messages.
Graffiti Art History!
Have you ever wondered who the first modern graffiti writer was? His name was Darryl McCray aka Cornbread. Did you know spray paint was invented in 1949? These are just a few of the fun facts we learned during our visit.
Below you’ll find a collection of photos from our visit, however, this is by no means a complete representation of all the artists on display. With the exception of a few instances I’ve included the artists name and a link to their website. I hope you enjoy exploring these amazing artists as much as I have!
Venice Beach Pavilion
No LA exhibition about graffiti would be complete without an homage to the Venice Pavilion now known as the Venice Art Walls. I myself have spent many an afternoon exploring the artwork, and have even contributed some myself!
You might also be interested in: Venice Art Walls: Caution Wet Paint
This fake record store within the exhibition is representative of how street art and graffiti have long been associated with the music and skateboard scene.
After the show we explored the Mission Junction neighborhood and discovered some amazing pieces:
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