There’s a new piece of street art on Larchmont and it looks like it might have been hiding underneath some paint since the ’50s only to be newly unearthed. But it’s fresh – recently glued on the wall above Growze. At the top it says ‘Suspect Photo’ and the subject looks like he was ripped from a Hollywood LAPD line-up.
Street art is everywhere around us. It’s defined as art that is developed in public spaces, usually unsanctioned. The fact that street artists “hang” their art so publicly allows them to create conversation about what are socially relevant themes to them. Street art is different from graffiti – the two genres compete for the same space, but street art doesn’t usually involve aerosol cans. The most popular medium is the pasted poster like the one above Growze on Larchmont.
Art on utility boxes, light poles and the sides of buildings (not graffiti, but street art) is controversial. For some it’s a crime; for others it’s art. For that reason, many of these artists operate in the middle of the night, produce art using a pseudonym and are impossible to find.
The LAPD considers defacing public property to be a crime. They recognize the difference between street art, graffiti art and gang graffiti (used to communicate gang messages). But they must deal with all of these forms of damaging public property the same. So if an artist is caught in the act, it can be dealt with as vandalism or, depending on the extent of property damage, it may be charged as a felony offense.
Melrose Avenue, west of La Brea is one of the most active streets for street art in the world. Gregory Linton, a blogger at MelroseandFairfax, a website dedicated to all the street art that pops up in the area, writes about the world of street art for the Huffington Post. In a post from last year, Linton makes the case for Street Art is a Love Affair with the City…that the artist has to know and love the city intimately to deliver the message.
How do you feel about the street art around us?