Explore the past and present of the Los Angeles graffiti scene with two local experts on our Graffiti & Machines Tour.
Graffiti documentarian Steve Grody will lead you through the back alleys of the DTLA Arts District and into a genuine graffiti yard. Along the way, he will identify different styles and forms of graffiti and explain how the art form has changed over the years.
Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo, a graffiti artist with the UTI Crew, will meet the group to talk about a mural production by his crew. Nuke offers an insider’s perspective on the graffiti subculture and shares how it has transformed his life.
After that, we’ll head to The House of Machines, a new hangout spot in the Arts District that celebrates “all things finely curated, well-crafted, and purposefully made.” Check out the vintage motorcycles on display, and try your hand at graffiti lettering as Nuke leads the group in a workshop. Food from Clutch is available for purchase, as are cocktails crafted by famed bartender Bad Birdy.
Tickets: $48 per person
Duration: 3 hours
Meeting location: The House of Machines, 2028 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021 (View Map)
We’ll be walking on uneven surfaces in many locations. Please dress accordingly in closed-toe shoes.
Steve Grody is a photographer, historian, and the author of Graffiti LA: Street Styles and Art. Before earning his B.A. in fine arts, he was also involved in his era’s ‘pop’ graphics, psychedelic art. When he saw spray can murals popping up around Los Angeles, he recognized their creativity and verve. Since 1990, he has been exploring the city’s back alleys, washes, and abandoned lots to document this vernacular art. Over the years he cultivated trust among L.A.’s most prolific, skilled, and infamous graffiti writers, allowing him access to obscure locations. In 2011 his photographs were featured in MOCA’s “Art of the Streets” show and catalog, and he co-curated “Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. He was featured at TEDxSitka, and has spoken at numerous universities and events. Grody is also an internationally respected martial arts instructor and swing dancer. Director Peter Weir brought Grody in to choreograph the dance scene in The Truman Show.
Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo is a multidisciplinary graffiti artist who has worked in Los Angeles for over 30 years. As a UTI Crew member, he has produced several murals in LA and Mexico. Nuke grew up in Boyle Heights listening to stories of Zoot Suiters and the life of pachucos in the 1940’s, which inspired his installation for Art At The Rendon’s Hidden Rooms in 2018. Nuke has created public artwork relating to Native American culture and history for the MTA, Council Districts 12 and 14, and the City of Bell. He recently helped restore Earth Crew’s iconic 1992 mural, “Undiscovered America,” located in the heart of the Arts District.
The Graffiti & Machines Tour and all other specialty tours designed by Cartwheel Art are available to be customized for private groups (6+). Private graffiti tours with Steve Grody are also available in other locations, including El Sereno. Contact us for inquiries and to learn more about private tours.