Join Steve Grody on a walk through DTLA alleys and a genuine graffiti “yard” where walls are decorated with graffiti and street art. Some of the walls that will be viewed are located on graffiti crew walls, where they’ve been creating productions for years that are not usually explored by those outside of the graffiti community.

Also, meet Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo, a graffiti writer with the UTI Crew, who will talk about a mural production by his crew.

In addition, Cindy Schwarzstein, founder of Cartwheel Art, will be joining the tour to provide the history of the neighborhood and share her knowledge about the future developments that are about to transform the area of our neighborhood that we are exploring in the South of 7th area of the DTLA Arts District.

The tour will end with a graffiti lettering workshop and late lunch at Pearls BBQ, where a special menu that has been created for our group, will be served.

About Steve Grody: Steve Grody is a photographer, historian and the author of Graffiti LA: Street Styles and Art. Before Steve Grody earned 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’ walls, he immediately recognized their creativity and verve. Since 1990, he has been driving across L.A. and searching its back alleys, washes and abandoned lots in search of this vernacular art. Over the years he 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 has resulted in an archive of over 35,000 images. From this, he has chosen the best work to illustrate the range of styles and approaches of this urban phenomenon in Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art (Abrams 2007).

In 2011 his photographs were featured in the MOCA “Art of the Streets” show and catalog, and he was co-curator of “Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Steve has been featured on TedxSitka, as well as speaking at numerous universities and panels.

He is also an internationally respected martial arts instructor, and as a swing dancer, he was brought in by director Peter Weir to choreograph the dance scene in “The Truman Show,” working with Jim Carrey and cast.

About Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo: 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; as a longtime resident, he grew up listening to stories of Zoot Suiters and the life of pachucos in the 1940’s, which had inspired his installation for Hidden Rooms, a recent project he participated in with Cartwheel Art. He is currently working on the restoration of Earth Crew’s 1992 iconic mural, “Undiscovered America,” located in the heart of the Arts District. Nuke maintains a strong presence in LA. He has created public artwork relating to Native American cult and history for the MTA , Council Districts 12 and 14, and the City of Bell.

Cost: $58 per person
Duration: 3 hours
Meeting location: Pearl’s Texas BBQ at 2010 E. 7th Street, Los Angeles 90021 (View Map)

We’ll be walking on uneven surfaces in many locations. Please dress accordingly in closed-toe shoes.

The Graffiti and BBQ 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.