As a Los Angeles resident, you know that your city is a hub of diverse culture and inspiring art. With nicknames like ‘The City of Flowers and Sunshine’ and ‘The Entertainment Capital of the World’, how could it be anything but beautiful and exciting?
What you might not know, however, is how to tell the difference between professional street art and illegal (if creative) graffiti. Read on for some history behind the street art and graffiti of Los Angeles and some tips to help you tell the difference between the two.
History: Street Art of Los Angeles
Another, perhaps lesser-known nickname for Los Angeles is ‘The Mural Capital of the World.’ This reference is due to the immense talent and vision of Mexican painter David Alfaro Siqueiros.
In the 1930s, Siqueiros brought the street art practice of muralismo (muralism, in English) to the United States. In 1932, he was commissioned to create a festive, playful mural for a Mexican-themed tourist district. Instead, he made a piece with strong imagery, such as an angry bald eagle, to symbolize and condemn Mexico’s Anglo-American occupation. This famous mural is titled América Tropical.
Since Siqueiros, many other famous murals have popped up in L.A., including Siqueiros: La Voz de la Gente!, a 2012 tribute to Siqueiros, and Judith Baca’s The Great Wall of Los Angeles, which depicts the history of California through the eyes of women and minorities.
History: Graffiti of Los Angeles
Though lesser-known and generally illegal, graffiti has its own rich history in Los Angeles. Recently, graffiti simply stating “8-13-14” was discovered beneath a bridge. Anthropologists believe this refers to August 13, 1914, making this piece of graffiti over a hundred years old.
Graffiti has long been a way for people to make their presence known. In the past, homeless folks, construction crews, and railroad workers would often create it. Today, it is more often the work of graffiti crews, or sometimes of gangs.
Street Art vs. Graffiti: How To Tell the Difference
There are several key differences between legal street art and illegal graffiti that can help you identify them.
Street art is generally:
- More centered around images than words
- Meant to uplift and beautify an area
- Seen in the form of large murals
- Meant to be widely viewed
- Created with less portable equipment, such as ladders, projectors, and lifts
- Accessible: street artists often sign their work with their real names and paint in full view of the public
Graffiti is usually:
- Made up of words and acronyms
- Created only with spray paint
- Layered over with other artists’ tags
- Painted in dangerous, hard to reach areas
- Only identified by pseudonyms
Now that you can tell the difference between graffiti and street art, you can know for sure when you should request a graffiti removal service in Los Angeles and when you can just enjoy the art. Call Curb Appeal Power Clean today at 818-964-1054 for all your graffiti removal needs!