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!
Beyond the Streets is located at 1667 N. Main Street in the Mission Junction neighborhood of Los Angeles. The exhibition runs through July 6, 2018. Tickets can be purchased online.
Craig R. Stecyk III
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:
Pin for later:
I love street art and it is so interesting to think about in museum terms! I like the replica room that shows the links with music
Love he photo of you and the Hilary art! #citytripping
Thank you! So glad you enjoyed!
I loved the record store too!
I’ve have gotten tired of the traditional museum displays, now I love to see something out of the box, like this. Great stuff! #citytripping
I’m with you!!
I’m glad to know that even with as much as you find street art that there are moments you also have no idea what it was the artist was trying to express – I often feel like an idiot but glad I’m not the only one! (not Idiot of course haha) #CityTripping
Ha ha! Art is often subjective isn’t it?!
I need that Maya Hayuk for my wall! Love this exhibit, so wish I could see it in person. What an amazing collection and I am definitely of the opinion that graffiti and street art is ART. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles
This could end up to be a traveling exhibition, the others I’ve written about were… it’s a pretty great collection of fabulous artists!
Niche Travel Design
My city had a similar exhibition – Street Art Inside – inside a hug warehouse. It was really cool. My daughter recently began studying street art/protest art and its impact on social change and justice. Many street artists offer some very insightful depictions of what is going on in society. It is not all street gang tags. Interesting post. #farawayfiles
Thank you! My son studied this topic in school this year. It was interesting because the opinions differed between who hadn’t spent time seeking out public/street art vs those who had.
How amazingly cool. I live in Bristol where vandalism has definitely become street art, via Banksy featured in this exhibition. I’d love to visit this – street art is such a part of our city that I love to seek it out when travelling. Thanks for hosting #FarawayFiles
I’d love to visit Bristol someday, though I admit I’m not sure Banksy is on my favorites list he’s certainly made an important worldwide impact! We often discuss him and the irony of his extreme success vs the messages he’s sending.
Wow! This is going on my list for next time I visit my daughter in LA! Street art is not high on my interest list, but this gives it a different perspective. Thinking of it as art gives me a new appreciation. I love the colors, and the black and white of the hands is really striking.
I’ve been experimenting with using spray paint and it’s unbelievably difficult to control. It gives me a new perspective on the artists who use it! I think its wonderful to see that these artists are being recognized for their talent more and more!
very different museum, for sure #farawayfiles
Yes, it is! I really enjoyed it!
Love that living room!
Me too! I loved picking up and playing with all the cardboard representations of everyday objects! Even the spray paint cans made noise when you shook them! You might appreciate that the living room belongs to Mark Ibans which is an anagram for the artists last name!
Turning vandalism into art is a type of punk I would say. However I struggle with the use of the word vandalism in the title of an art exhibition as it describes the criminal act of damaging property. That’s distinct from graffiti. It is provocative and I suppose that does get people’s attention. I love that you can find out more about the thought behind this art because it’s been brought together into a real museum display. It’s so vibrant and appealing, it’s very commercial. I would buy it! #farawayfiles
I get what you’re saying. I speculating the they’ve used that term because many of the artists started out doing vandalism, and have since morphed into respected artists. I would definitely buy some of these pieces, and in fact have purchased art from various “street” artists, which I proudly hang in my home.
The pop up museum for street art ( or Vandalism as Contemporary Art) is an interesting idea. Having a large collection such as this makes it easier for people (who don’t seek it out) to be exposed to this media. I figure any place where street art happens (and the ephemeral nature of it) makes it “pop up”.
Yes, street art is definitely pop up! Its very nature demands that it be so, or at least it used to… Now it’s becoming very mainstream, which I’m happy about because I appreciate that not everyone has access to art and this very public way of displaying it makes it available to the masses.
We recently visited a great street art exhibition in Singapore too – felt the same, less ‘instagram’ worthy and more meaningful
Cool! I just love art and love to see it in many different forums. Learning more about the artists and their history was really a nice surprise!
Sharee (Inspire Family Travel)
This is so interesting and how incredible are some of those pieces! I must admit with abstract pieces I have no idea what message the artist is trying to portray. I love you were able to see the art, but also find out what inspired them. #FarawayFiles
Sometimes I think it might just be art for arts sake… 😀
Fifi + Hop
Love the one of you with the spray paint can! I have to say you’ve really inspired me to pay more attention to street art. It’s not something I really paid much attention to before..if I’m gonna be honest! #farawayfiles
You’re not alone, but if you take a closer look you’ll see that many street artists are truly talented artists just displaying their art in non traditional ways. Xx
Love that you are posting about ‘Home’ we don’t need to travel to find interesting things to do. Love the pop-up museum, have I said I miss L.A.? Thanks for keeping me up to date and giving me my weekly fix. Didn’t know you were an artist!
So true! I love LA and there is SO much to see and do here, how can I not post about it!
Ok, so I need to check out this exhibition! I am subscribed to multiple newsletter but I had not seen it announced on those. Some time ago they had a street art exhibition at the Geffen Contemporary. I remembered how much I enjoyed it. At that time, the street scene in LA wasn’t as big as it is now. I am sure this is way better.
Yes! Definitely check it out! I learned of it through Instagram… I believe it’s put on by artists so that made it feel really authentic!
I really enjoy seeing street art and there are some great pieces in your post, I particularly like the Timothy Curtis one. I love the fact like you said it could be there one day and gone the next, it’s just catching that moment in time. #farawayfiles
I love the Timothy Curtis one too!
Interesting…in the best way! We tend to think of cities as being living street art museums, but it makes total sense to actually have a museum-esque exhibit. And wow, that an exhibit! Hope we get a chance to see it soon. Thanks for putting it on our radar!
Yes, it was great to see these “street” artists in a museum setting! Though I wish them success I do hope they keep up with street art too!!