DTLA Street Graffiti Is Off The Wall
Influential LA Street Artists Showcase Beauty, Social Messages On Urban Canvas
by Jefferey Spivvey - Contributing Style Editor
Much like streetwear, Los Angeles is at the forefront of the street art movement. At one point, street art was primarily dominated by graffiti artists and taggers. While both styles are still prevalent, its street art that is sweeping the city (and much of the nation) by storm.
From 2003-2013, the Los Angeles City Council imposed what many locals called a “mural moratorium”. It was a set of regulations designed to limit commercial billboards in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes. The move to limit this type of advertising affected film studios and apparel companies. But it was local artists who felt the impact the most. Since the moratorium was lifted, street artists across LA have decorated building after building with their powerful murals.
Among the most high-profile street artists are DABS MYLA. This married couple was responsible for designing the 2015 MTV Movie Awards set. But their mainstream success hasn’t stopped them from spreading color and art across the city of angels. Their creations feature bright colors, flowers, busy little creatures, and even cartoon incarnations of the two artists themselves. Some of their best work can be seen on Sunset Boulevard. And if you’re not in LA, you can join 170,000 others and follow them on Instagram.
DABS MYLA in collaboration with two other artists "Super Smooth" in DTLA
photo credit: graffuturism.com
Moving beyond simple beauty, British street artist D*Face uses LA’s landscapes and structures to communicate cheeky messages. His art work plays on classic comic book illustration and completely covers buildings around the city, including portions of Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood. His work is always grand in scope and often includes social criticism. Like DABS MYLA, he has a loyal social media following with over 120,000 followers on IG. D*Face’s most recent project was creating the artwork for Blink 182’s new number one album, CALIFORNIA.
D*Face "RearView Mirror" mural at Pico and Federal Ave, downtown LA
photo credit: Peligro Pictures
Tristan Eaton is an artistic triple threat of sorts. He’s a muralist, street artist, and toy designer. He’s well-known for creating the bunny-eared Dunny toy with Paul Budnitz of Kidrobot. He’s even parlayed his street art success into a permanent art collection at New York’s MoMA. His work in L.A. is surreal with juxtapositions of beauty and violence. His artwork at the Container Yard in downtown L.A. features gorgeous drawings of women’s faces. Their hair is accented with bursts of colors and handguns. He’s often commissioned by major brands to create original work. His 2015 collaboration with Converse has been viewed more than 69,000 times on YouTube.
Tristan Eaton mural at The Container Yards, downtown Los Anglees
photo credit: be-street.com
The most popular LA street artists have transcended levels no one could imagine. Once considered a nuisance, these artists use their art to communicate beautiful messages in LA and all over the world.