One thing that I have come to realize in my short time in LA is that art is the lungs of the city. I’ve traveled to a lot of major cities in the US: Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Atalanta, etc. And even though Detroit has murals and Chicago has sculptures, I feel like the city interacts with art differently here. It’s like walking in a living art museum everywhere I go.
I never know when I’m going to turn the corner and be hit in the face with beautiful art.
Here are three murals that have caught my attention while walking or driving in different parts of the city. You’ll have to excuse the second photo for not being mine as I was driving (thanks to l.a.afoot for the photo).
This mural is on the corner of 5th and Seaton near the Arts District. It’s actually on part of the building where I work (Majority Denim). For one, I couldn’t help but stop and look at the colors. Purple has been the color of my soul recently (which is weird because I’ve never liked purple). Even several years after completion, the painting is still vibrant and striking. Her second face seems to be blasting away from her body as if it was attached to rockets.
According to her website, the painting is supposed to be a visual representation of an Astral Projection. Ealey used pictures of her model friend, Tracy Thalo, for the project.
What is Astral Projection? It’s an out of body experience. You can transcend from the body to a higher power or experience. If you’d like to learn more about Astral Projection, you can check out this website.
Ealey started to show an artistic flair even when she was eight years old. She is naturally drawn to the woman’s form and works with acrylics ink on wood, spray paint for murals, and wheatpaste for her photography.
This mural on Main and 3rd St caught my eye because it reminded me of Alphonse Mucha paintings in the Art Nouveau movement. I’m sure this was intentional. The combination of bright orange and yellow, and the size of the mural in general, made me rubber-neck until the last possible second.
My motto has always been, “Art can do more than just hang. It can help.”
Though Lydia Emily is battling with MS, she is a firecracker spirit who continues to spread her messages through her artwork. Her desire to live and create flows through her paintings like part of her spirit is pushed inside. She’s a cancer survivor, a mother of a daughter with autism, and an amazing artist with a passion to create meaningful art.
When I was on S Hope St heading to Nimbus Coffee (you can check out my review here), I was stopped dead in my tracks as this mural confronted me. The look on the face just made me feel like I was being examined, and I couldn’t look away.
“We are all Angelenos, we are all one.”
While I couldn’t find the date or name of the mural, I found some very interesting information on Vargas. Growing up in Boyle Heights, Vargas is often inspired by the many cultures in the area. He tries to play off of the environment of the paintings to create art that is both accessible and enhances the community’s experience.
I love the stories behind the murals in Los Angeles. Each person has a unique experience they bring to the canvas of the city walls. If anyone has more information on any of these paintings, feel free to share them.
Do you have any murals you love in LA or your town? Comment below!