Nothing quite measures up to the vibrant energy of Downtown Los Angeles. Every time I visit, something captures my attention–a man playing an instrument on the corner, a flashing sign advertising a new locale, and most importantly the many street art pieces created on concrete walls.
So when a gallery show focuses on the brave figures who make the city that much more colorful, you bet I show up with a camera in hand ready to see some great art. “Back Alley: A Celebration of Art in the Streets” presented by the DoArt Foundation and LA Street Art Gallery satiated my need for more street art Saturday night with art from some of the most talented figures in the scene. The space included everything from a cardboard installation–Calder‘s “Box House” – to a bicycle with a heart-shaped seat by Canlove. The interior included enough pieces that visitors could miss some if they only walked around the space once. I spotted work from many artists I’ve followed for CARTWHEEL–among them Cryptik, THEFL, and Shark Toof , (see “Related Posts,” below) but also discovered new names. Evan Mendelson and TEWSR especially caught by eye for their expert use of color and their captivating, beautifully rendered figures.
No piece looked like the other and hardly an inch of the locale’s walls felt wasted. The interior mirrored the gritty persona of the city, with entire walls covered in large works and wooden panels by THEFL serving as background for some of the works. With the recent closing of graffiti and street art gallery, Crewest, the opening night of “Back Alley” at GR Works Gallery felt like a reassurance to street fans that the talent of Downtown and beyond would continue taking gallery spaces by storm. Here’s to more street art shows!
The show runs thorugh February 1st, and there’s closing night party from 6pm to 9pm.
Top: Moonface by Vyal
Back Alley: A Celebration of Art in the Streets February 1
GR Works Gallery
114 W 4th Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Open Tuesday-Sunday, noon-7