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Cartwheel Art Tours & Obscura Society LA in South Central LA: Mural Tour with Steve Grody, Smile South Central & Paradox

February 21, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm



Join Cartwheel Art Tours and Obscura Society LA, in South Central, Los Angels, where we are partnering for our first tour on our new monthly series with mural tour’s. For this month’s mural tour, we will be offering an immersive urban art exploration in contemporary street art and graffiti where we will learn about the 11 walls, 2 alleys and 9 roll downs, many of which we will be viewing, that were all recently painted, by local and international, emerging and well-known street artists for Smile South Central in addition to other walls by local LA graffiti crews.


Smile South Central is an amazing community beautification and educational project that Adam Ayala, local resident of South Central and curator of the project, has produced. The project, which is occurring in a neighborhood, that has historically been tough and seen a lot of violence in the past, is now experiencing a feeling of empowerment with the local residents and businesses. A new relationship for them, is being created as the channels of communication are opening up and uplifting the community. This is occurring thru the art in their own neighborhood, by using murals to communicate and build unity.

During the tour, Adam, will expand on how the project is transforming the community and receiving the approval of many of the gangsters who have come out to see the walls. The success of Smile South Central is occurring through Adam’s vision, the generosity of the artists who have been donating their time, along with the local businesses and concerned residents who as well, have been donating their private walls for the artists to paint the murals.

On this unique South Central tour, in addition to meeting Adam and viewing the murals for Smiles South Central, we will also meet graffiti artist Paradox of W.A.I. Crew, a Los Angeles native, who has been part of the LA graffiti scene since 1999. Paradox’s objective is to awaken the masses through art by raising their consciousness. For our group, he will describe his work along with that of his other crew members including well known artists, Craola, and 2shae, who have painted in the alley.

Steve Grody, will also be a guest speaker for this tour. Since 1990, Steve has been driving across L.A. and searching its back alleys, washes and abandoned lots in search of the vernacular art of graffiti. Over the years he has cultivated trust amongst L.A.’s most prolific, skilled and infamous graffiti ‘writers’ allowing him access to obscure locations, and through interviews clarified their motivations, and thoughts on creativity as well as the troublesome aspects of its illegality. His obsessive drive to document this distinctive youth underground resulted in an archive of over 35,000 images. It was from that that he chose the best work to illustrate the range of styles and approaches of this urban phenomenon in his book Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art (Abrams 2007). As well, in 2011 Steve’s photographs were in the MOCA “Art of the Streets” show and catalogue, and he was co-curator of “Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

While we view work by other crews including that of CBS Crew, Steve will be, describing the variety of graffiti styles and approaches, that exists and is created in South Central, other neighborhoods in LA, and globally.

In addition we will be meeting some of the other artists, many of which are gallery artists, in the alley for Smiles South Central, whom may be painting live for our group. The artist’s, will offer us their perspective on painting murals in LA and the global street art movement.

A list of artists that have painted murals in Smiles South Central are as follows: Dourone, Angelina Christina, Annie Preece, Jules Muck (aka Muckrock), Septerhed, Jennifer Korsen, tee vee art, Alan Carvalho (aka Johnny Brushstrokes and Squeeze Art member), Jason Ostro, Clinton Bobb, Moncho 1929, Andrea La Hue (aka Random Act), Phobikgod, Zia_La, Leba, Murdock1, Thrashbird, Ralph Ziman (aka Afrika 47), Wolfmate, Ihad, Angel, Gregory Siff, Johnny Tarajosu, ShadowMonsterBear, and others.

The tour will be led by Cindy Schwarzstein, Cartwheel Art online-magazine’s founder and Cartwheel Art Tours director, who lives and works in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District. Cindy, a long-time collector of emerging artists work, is involved with a diverse number of mural and community groups as well as serving on the board of the Los Angeles Artists and River Business Association (LARABA).


More details for the tour:

Closed toe and comfortable shoes are recommended
The tour will be 2.5 hours
Meeting location will be in front of Handler Pharmacy at 4729 S. Western Ave, South Central Los Angeles, CA 90062 (corner of Western and 48th)

Please tag Cartwheel Art and #CartwheelArtTours along with Los Angeles Obscura Society and #ObsucraSociety LA on the tour. In addition to the murals for Smile South Central and #smileSouthCentral. Also walls by Paradox and #paradox along with W.A.I. Crew

All photos by Cindy Schwarzstein.  Top photo is the mural work (left-right): Illzina, Johnny Tarajosu for Smile South central


Collaboration by Gobsonebows x Angelonce x Jc Rivera for Smile South Central


ShadowMonsterBear with Smile South Central