David Choe- A Los Angeles native and extremely versatile artist with graffiti roots

In 990, inspired by acclaimed graffiti artists Hex and Mear One, David began doing graffiti on bus benches, billboards and back alleys across the city.

To get an understanding on the incredible life and individuality of David Choe I strongly recommend checking out the documentary Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe. Obsessed with traveling, Choe has made one expedition after another, venturing everywhere from the jungles of the Congo to painting graffiti and murals around the globe, crafting a self-image and life history that’s an art piece in and of itself.

In 2007, he described his “dirty style” painting aesthetic to Fecal Face webzine, saying, “The dirty styles rule all other schools and styles. The layering, the personal touch to everything. I’m from the school of dirty styles, but it’s more than just style and surface, it’s every dirty thing that’s inside you.”

As he told Juxtapoz magazine, “I never stopped graffiti. It influences my fine art, with the quickness and immediacy of it. I use oil paint like it’s acrylic, because I can’t wait for it to dry. I love fucking with mediums and seeing how they react to different mediums, but I always considered graffiti separate from my art. I always looked at it as destructive, anarchist, political, spiritual, and mostly just fun. It was a release from being cooped up, hunched over drawing tiny drawings with rapidographs and mechanical pencils. Fuck everything I’m doing at home, I‘m going out late at night to have an affair with the streets. I’m not worried about mistakes, or trying to make shit look right, or fame, or writing a tag over and over—I’m looking to destroy, pure vandalism, and maybe somewhere in between the process I can achieve enlightenment, fulfillment, and redemption, but probably not. You can’t ever really describe the feeling until you’ve stolen two cans of Krylon flat black and hit the streets with reckless abandon. The freedom of speech, and scale of the words and pictures, is humbling.” (Juxtapoz Magazine, 2007.)

His trademark image of a sharp toothed whale is recognizable and can be found in many cities across the globe.

For more on David Choe check out this article: The Redemption of David Choe | Juxtapoz Magazine | Matthew Newton | Matthew Newton


And the Giants Win the World Series!!!

It was nearly a year ago that the culmination of all that is beautiful in sports occurred when the Giants won the 2010 World Series.  I can’t say enough about how incredible it was to watch that immaculate sports event come together.  The teams swagger and character, the come from behind play-off birth, the lincecum/halladay match-up, Wilson being a lights out time and time again, Renteria’s game winning home-runs in both 2 and 5, Cody Ross just being so clutch etc. etc. etc.  Having gone to Giants games my whole life by far the toughest part of watching the Giant’s World Series birth and eventual victory was having to watch it in Los Angeles and then missing the parade due to midterms f*%# my life right. god that sucked.  Anyways, one of my favorite timepieces that actually resides in North Beach of SF is a mural that perfectly encapsulates the general awesomeness of the Giants and that team.

On a similar note I’d like to share a letter that was written to the Giants by an incredibly talented blogger named Drew.  His site rocket-shoes.com is awesome and this post in particular really struck home when i first read it last year. A Love Letter To The San Francisco Giants

Check out this little video to get the full exposure of the mural:

Early rap roots

A bit off topic but hey whatever its my blog so I guess I can do as I please..

Alright so if growing up in the 90’s wasn’t already weird enough with the style, pop culture, and strange tv shows that emerged in that decade- then rap music’s influence on our generation certainly was the cherry on top of that flavorful sundae. But unlike any of the other artists it was Eminem who gave us youth the most raucous, explicit lyrics likely to ever go mainstream the way his did.  We were kids and we loved it.  I remember weaseling my way into Tower Records and convincing someone a bit older than I to buy me The Marshall Mathers LP.  I gave him a $20.  I told him he could keep the change. I was 13 and ready to be told how to say F*%# the world by Eminem.

Now while that album featured diabolical tracks like “Kill You”, “The Way I am”, and “Kim”… I’d like to share the earliest of early tracks by his that really just does it for me.

Eminem – Infinite

In 1995, Marshall recorded his first album titled Infinite, which only sold about 1000 copies.

Background:   So I guess Eminem did pretty well in school considering the circumstances until year 9. He failed for the third year in a row and decided that he had had enough. At that point he left school to work on what he was most passionate about: rapping.  Talk about really committing to what you believe in and having it work out. He started getting a name for himself when he was 17, even though he got into the rap game when he was 14. He was using the initials from his first and last names to form his rap name “M & M” which later became “Eminem”. Against all the odds, fending of repeated rejection for his unfittingly white skin and bleached hair, he rose to stardom nonetheless.  The reason: raw talent and determination.  Forcing himself to go on radio shows and participate in freestyle battles his street cred grew and eventually became what the above track is so appropriately titled- Infinite.


Unique New York: The Enigmatic Basquait

Basquait began his career in art as a graffiti artist in NYC in the late 1970s, and in the 1980s produced neo-expressionist painting.  If you haven’t seen the feature film, “Basquait” that depicts the lifestyle and culture of the time for art in New York I strongly recommend it.  Anyways, I figured I couldn’t have this blog up for too long without paying tribute to one of the most uniquely foreign yet contrastingly humanizing artists ever to grace the streets with his work.  Basquait is often noted for his use of internal human anatomy in his works- apparently at age 7 he was given a book called Gray’s Anatomy by his mother and used it throughout his life as a reference for the various human anatomy he chose to depict.  Sadly, at the age of only 27, he died of a heroin overdose, yet still today he is celebrated as one of the most impactful U.S. artists of our time.  In 2002, his piece titled “Profit” was sold through Christies at a price of 5.5 million.

C215- This Parisian local is downright incredible

Christian Guémy aka C215 is best known as a French stencil artist. Based in Paris, he has been creating these distinguished stencils over the past few years and managed to build up quite a following in the process. C215 uses a wide range of color schemes, from muted tones to very vivid explosions of color as pictured below.

Check out his flikr photostream here to get a full sense of the types of works he’s capable of producing.C215’s Photostream

Amazing, right?

How and Nosm- Brothers with an intricate style



How and Nosm were just featured in the October issue of the Red Bulletin Magazine.  As fascinating and incredible as their artwork clearly displays, its also their unique lifestyle, living and working with one another constantly that makes them such an interesting duo.  The work speaks for itself but is often noted for its incredible intricacies.  Using a limited color pallet- black, white, and red brings outlines into focus and further reveals their meticulous patterns- putting worlds and characters within themselves. Down to the smallest details these brothers work day and night in a bronx warehouse producing these unbelievable masterpieces.

Check out their blog at: How and Nosm’s Blog | The Life and Work of How & Nosm


Check out their main website to take a look through their work: Artwork


Street Art Photos – Year 2010 | STREET ART UTOPIA

This site offers an incredible collection of street art.  Styles are extremely divergent between featured artists.  I like how they offer collections based on the year, month etc.  Gives a nice frame of reference for the piece.

106 of the most beloved Street Art Photos – Year 2010 | STREET ART UTOPIA – StumbleUpon.
Street Art Utopia also introduced me to a new artist by the name of David Walker.  I think he’s my new favorite.


LA Canvas 80/20 event

Took a trip deep into downtown LA last night to go check out 80/20’s LA Canvas event.  Overall, I must say it was pretty awesome.  Incredible art, open bar, killer dj, and fun giveaways.  Not only did I get to press my own shirt (as seen below) but the show was also quite interactive.  I completed my first “tag” ever with a spray paint can, contributed to a Steve Jobs artwork by making a sad mac face haha, and got to watch some incredibly talented street artists develop their works in front of my eyes.

Overall, I’d say it was a great success.  have a look at the pictures below to get a feel for the event etc.

I get a good feeling

Just wanted to say after only a week or so of working on my blog I can’t explain how excited I am about the interest in street art thats building within me.  On a very personal level, I have always wanted to connect to art but through a lack of well… natural talent been unable to do so.  While I may of played the trumpet in middle school, been crafty in ceramics, and did in fact wield some artistic craftsmanship while building structures for themed parties during college, I will say that none of those pursuits even scratched the surface of the connectivity I believe will come from developing this new found interest- str8art.

On Tuesday I dropped by the Lab Art exhibition to talk with the owner/curator about his relationship with the street artists whose works are currently on display on in his gallery.

Lab Art Gallery photos:

What I found most fascinating was the lack of credit by which most of these artists choose to approach their craft.  Their’s no slap on the back, “hey, great job man”.  No toast of recognition.  Instead, these artists pride themselves on their elusiveness, hushed-up and undefined artistic endeavors; things created by near mystic characters known only by their “street name”.  While this is in part because these artists are in fact criminals and subject to their jurisprudence for all the crimes they’ve committed defacing property, I think it also intertwines very nicely with the thematic values of the movement.  Such values as the freedom of expression, temporary nature of all things, humbleness rather than egotism.  It’s about letting ones work speak louder than their words and their personality shine through the ironies their works expose.  And at the end of the day, whether the piece makes you chuckle, cringe, or gasp is all still beautiful.  For me however, especially more recently, I just get a good feeling.

▶ Pretty Lights – Finally Moving Remix by prettylights

One final thing,  similar to the way street art is best found by keep an ever-attentive eye, the desire to expose oneself to the culture has led me to find out about some amazingly interesting upcoming events.  Tonight I’m excited to attend a Thrillist sponsored event:  Thrillist Art Crawl | Thrillist

Then tomorrow I can’t wait to go see what this is event being put on by LA Canvas is all about.  LA CANVAS 80//20

I mean its in a warehouse, open bar, tons of street artists work, what more could I ask for!

Be sure to update next week with pictures and info on the various events including their artwork, vibe, and overall intrigue.

Mr. Brainwash’s Art Show 2011

Mr. Brainwash at work

Art Show 2011.

Mr. Brainwash’s new community art project is slated to open in late October.  If you’ve seen “Exit through the Gift Shop” then you know this character for the malleable, near living art-piece that Banksy so incredibly manufactured him into as that documentary developed.  The film Exit through the Gift shop poses Thierry Guetta as a bumbling, fly by the-seat-of-his-pants kind of guy who winds up pulling together one of the most excessive art shows Los Angeles had seen for quite some time.  While the documentary ironically exposes the key ingredient to making art sell is in fact just hype… one can only imagine what kind of pieces Mr. Brainwash has got in store at this new exhibit.  After speaking with one art aficionado and asking for a comment on Mr. Brainwashes opening he said, “From what I hear, there are all these incredible street artists work plastered throughout the space… then in the back is all of Mr. Brainwash’s work.  What does that say to you about where the guy holds himself in relation to other artists.  Is he the master or the puppet?”

For more information on the Exit Through the Gift Shop conclusions/ trying to understand how not to get brainwashed haha… i suggest reading this article.

Shepard Fairey Swears to God the Banksy Movie is Not a Hoax | Blogs | Vanity Fair

The Concept

With a percolating interest in street art, I’ve decided to start a blog that chronicles my findings in and around Los Angeles.  I also plan on creating a website that offers people the chance to become a part of the street art movement by making some of the most famous, iconic pieces available for purchase in the form of window clings.  The available window clings will begin with the most famous like Shepard Fairy’s “Obey” piece or Invaders “Pac Man Ghost” and based on their initial success we’ll see how we can expand the collection.

Street Artists often describe the purpose of their work as for nothing else but exciting the exposed civilians to a somewhat heightened level 0f awareness, to make them familiar with their image, and let them draw their own conclusion about what it means.  The provided window clings will grant anyone the chance to become a part of the movement and demonstrate their familiarity with the most celebrated of images.  Congruent with the universal theme that most, if not all street art, is about adapting visual artwork into a format which utilizes public space so that they can reach a much broader audience than traditional artwork and galleries normally allow- selling the images as window clings will do the same.  More simply, it will further expand the reach of these famous works of art and expose people to them through a new channel.

The final thing I’d like to do with this blog is make it a somewhat open forum for people to post stuff they find while out and about in their city.  Street Art is everywhere you just need to keep an eye out.  The blog will feature all sorts of works and open them up for discussion.  With art, personal opinion is everything, so starting a conversation about what you think some art piece is trying to say or maybe just why you like it, will make this site all the more fun for everyone!

With an ultimate goal of increasing my own awareness about street art and the myriad of forms in which it comes, I plan to frequently draw from many of the amazing blogs that already capture the ever-evolving street art movement on an ongoing basis.

Excited and ready to begin I mark this as my first post and the beginning of my work with str8art- a name that works as a double entendre to expose my perception of the art form as being one of the most authentic, straight forms out there.

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