Caliborn Apparel Showcases the Work of Local Artist, Israel Rodriguez, in their Spring/Summer Fashion Line
Last month, Caliborn Apparel launched it’s 2018 Spring/Summer fashion line. Their newest line features items like crop top sweaters and hoodies, an urbane bomber jacket, raglan sweaters, and baseball tees embellished with hand-drawn designs by local artists. These hip, new designs from Caliborn marry fashion, art, and comfort, resulting in pieces that not only look great but feel good to wear too.
My personal favorites from this collection are the new CA Bomber Jacket and the California Republic Baseball Tee. The CA Bomber Jacket is versatile and lightweight. This is an ideal piece of outerwear for a morning hike in Griffith Park or the mountains of Malibu, but it’s also sophisticated and fashionable enough to wear for your night out on the town. The unlined nylon this jacket is crafted from is both thin and breathable, making it more like a quintessential windbreaker than anything else. The ribbing around the neck, waist, and cuffs contribute additional degrees of comfort and style. This jacket is enhanced by Caliborn’s cool and modern iconography printed once on the left breast and again down the right sleeve of the jacket. The CA Bomber Jacket is a genderless offering from Caliborn that is available in both black and military green varieties.
The California Republic Baseball Tee is a design that I am particularly excited about. The baseball tee is a new look for Caliborn and its 3/4 length sleeves are perfect for the middling temperatures of spring. The artwork prominently featured across the front of the shirt is the handiwork of local Los Angeles artist, Israel Rodriguez. His design depicts a silhouette of Charles Nahl’s bear (that we all know as the bear from California’s state flag) that’s comprised of mountains, pines, and a picturesque river valley. The natural landscape that Rodriguez has depicted on this Caliborn tee resembles the beauty present in places such as the iconic Yosemite Valley.
Jaron Williams, the owner and CEO of Caliborn, said “It was important for us to start featuring the works of local artists on our clothing. It gives them some much needed, and deserved love and exposure. And I, personally, wanted to incorporate a more rustic, hand-drawn aesthetic to some of our designs, which we were previously lacking.”
Caliborn’s inclination to incorporate the works of underground local artists into their fashion line is something I both support and commend. Their most recent designs suavely merge art and commerce to create looks that are not only contemporary but have a dose of local flair. If you’d like to add these looks to your wardrobe, they are now available for purchase at www.calibornapparel.com.
by Sergio Garcia
Sandra Chevrier is a Canadian artist that has received international acclaim as the mastermind behind a series titled, Cages. This series is composed of various pieces that feature the faces of women looking toward the viewer. However, the woman’s face is draped in a collage featuring cutouts from comic books. By amalgamating paint and comic book cutouts, she creates pieces of art that are not only visually stunning, but can be dissected in ways that reveal profound meaning. Fortunately for us, Los Angeles hosts one of these spectacular pieces.
As I was driving down Vermont, this piece stuck out to me, and I had to pullover to admire it fully. When I stepped out of my car and allowed myself to revel in the mural, I couldn’t help but appreciate the sheer brilliance of Chevrier’s piece. While the main focus of the piece is the woman with a mask of comic book cutouts, Chevrier has also included a comic book type caption, complete with a yellow background, and a thick black outline surrounding the art, resulting in a mural that perfectly resembles a comic book panel.
However, it remains clear that the main focus of the mural is the woman’s face. And Chevrier has made it possible for us, as viewers, to read the emotions of the subject through the eyes that she’s painted. The woman looks forward, displaying a strong and fierce attitude. She does not have the look of a coward. Instead, she boldly and fearlessly seems ready to take on whatever comes her way. This emotion depicted on the woman’s face parallels the comic book that Chevrier has chosen to serve as a mask.
Using pages from one of Superman’s most iconic storylines, Chevrier has imbued her art with deep meaning. The narrative of Superman(Vol. 2) #75 is about Superman trying to protect Earth from one of the greatest threats he ever encountered, a supervillain known as Doomsday. The epic battle that ensues between these two superpowered entities ultimately leads to Superman’s death, despite the fact that he succeeds in defeating Doomsday. But why has Chevrier chosen these final panels depicting the annihilation of Superman and Doomsday to cover up this woman’s face?
The answer to that question, at least for me, stems from the fact that women are held to high standards in today’s world. They are idealized and expected to conform to strict, gendered social standards. Women today find themselves immersed in lofty expectations. Similarly, Superman is expected to be the most infallible superhero. People assume that he is indestructible, that he stands for truth, justice, and the American way; he is often portrayed as the archetypal boy scout. These standards that are applied women and Superman are simply unreasonable. And it seems as though Chevrier has chosen comic book panels that display Superman in positions of compromise, fragility, and struggle for that very reason. By displaying the weaknesses and flaws of a superhero, Chevrier reminds us that women, who are only human at their core, can struggle to find freedom from the contrived and distorted expectations that our society imposes on them.
Where can I find it?
You can find this mural in University Park at the intersection of Vermont Avenue and West 25th Street.
by TOMMY JARRELL
Chucking Lights is an artist and native Angeleno who is originally from northeast Los Angeles. He creates inventive sculptures, paintings, drawings, videos, and animations. Chuck is also a writer, musician, and builder and says that he intermittently works construction on the side. He has previously authored and illustrated multiple issues of his own zine, Quick! Our interest in his work began with the beautiful, surrealist mural that he created on the exterior of Furthur Furniture in Sunset Junction.
The mural outside of Furthur is quite literally a sea of red. It prominently features what Chuck describes as a “giant woman with the landscape and a coral tree.” The woman is crouching to the level of an anthropomorphic ant, that is also prominently featured, so it looks as though the two figures seem to be engrossed in conversation.
Surrounding the giant woman and her insect companion there is a school of tiny fish and a number of three dimensional, geometric blocks on the ground. Behind them, in the sky, there are a series of moons in various stages of waxing and waning that add to the general sense of mystique aroused by this mural. The hills, mountains, and mesas in the background give you the sense that this mural is set in the desert, but then the school of fish, the coral, and the starfish on the ground quickly force you to suspend that supposition. Instead, what Chuck has created is a world that is not a desert, nor a sea, but something else entirely. It’s foreign and familiar, and I think to a degree, that is something that we look for in a provocative piece of art. We need something familiar to ground us, and our understanding, within the work, but then we desire something that is going to surprise us by subverting our initial expectations. This mural’s magic is that it make us think and that its surrealist and liminal qualities are immersive and suck us into a refreshing recess from our real-world.
The depiction of this giant woman and this anthropomorphic ant feels almost mythic. And it feels like Chuck is using this mural to tell us a story that explains one of the universe’s grand mysteries. It draws us into this beautiful scene and we wonder about the nature of the interaction between its two primary characters. We wonder why there is coral growing, or fish swimming, in an apparent dessert. We wonder about the moons and how this world was lucky enough to be blessed with so many. We ponder the geometric blocks strewn across the ground. Ultimately, Chuck’s mural forces us to live with questions that cannot be immediately answered with absolute clarity, but it intrigues us and beguiles us, it invites us into a world that is absolutely fascinating. And even in those ways the world Chuck has depicted in his mural is quite like our own.
Where can you find this mural?
You can find this mural on Sunset Boulevard (near the intersection of Fountain Avenue and Sunset). It’s on the outside wall of Furthur in the parking lot for Malo.
by SERGIO GARCIA
Punk Me Tender is a French artist that first moved to Los Angeles to pursue his artistic vision. Though he keeps his true identity secret, he has adorned Los Angeles with various pieces of street art using unconventional methods. He has used mixed media that includes spray paint, photography, and even real pieces of clothing to create murals that generate intrigue and fascinate those fortunate enough to find them. Punk Me Tender's work frequently features women and vibrant color schemes that entice the eyes and minds of the beholder.
On its own, Amoeba Music is a landmark in Los Angeles. And yet, no trip to Amoeba is complete without taking a few minutes to revel in the beautiful mural that Punk Me Tender has created on the back wall of Amoeba Music. In the middle of the wall, a woman with black hair and a black leather jacket stares straight ahead. She is wearing large, black sunglasses with white frames. This helps to retain her anonymity and frees us, as viewers, from focusing on her individually. Surrounding the woman, and taking up the entire length of that back wall, butterflies of various sizes flutter around her. The vibrant blue color of these butterflies beguiles the viewer and creates a sharp contrast between the black color used throughout the rest of the mural.
What attracts me most to this mural is that everytime I come across it I can appreciate something new. The woman depicted has a somewhat blank expression on her face that can be interpreted in a myriad of ways, depending on my own personal mood. Sometimes I find that she seems to be bravely looking forward to what’s ahead, ready to move on and get going. On other visits, I see more of a smug, self-satisfied look. And yet, on other occasions, I find that she has a mildly annoyed look on her face. Her alternating expressions seem to be more of a reflection on my own state of mind and attitude than anything else. And I’m sure that each person that gets the opportunity to admire this piece has their own interpretation of how the woman is feeling or what she is thinking. While the woman is the central focus of the mural, the butterflies that surround her add a cheerful exuberance to the painting. The radiant blue hues of the butterflies draw the eye in and create a pleasant juxtaposition of color next to the other monochromatic elements of the artwork. And it's this calculated contrast and deliberate use of color in Punk Me Tender's mural that make one of my favorite places in Los Angeles, Amoeba Music, that much more enthralling.
Where exactly is this mural?
On the back, exterior wall of Amoeba Music. If you enter the street level parking from Ivar Avenue, you can’t miss it.
by TOMMY JARRELL
Jake Merten and Rif Raf Giraffe have recently joined forces to collaborate on a new mural in East Hollywood. I guess the term “new” is relative, their mural was completed in January of this year and it’s titled Sono Tori, which I believe means “Those Birds,” when translated from Japanese into English.
About the Artists
Jake Merten is a Chicago native who currently resides in Los Angeles. He began his career as an artist in the summer of 2012 when he originally moved to the west coast. Since then, he has committed himself to making public murals, hand painted jackets, album art, and other works that exist in Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Honolulu, Miami, New York, Denver, Los Angeles, and beyond. After sampling his formidable works of art it’s evident that anime, hip-hop, and fashion have all made profound impressions on his work. Many of his artworks feature characters inspired by Dragon Ball Z or pop culture, including David Bowie, Kate Moss, Phife Dawg, and Chance the Rapper.
Rif Raf Giraffe is also a street artist from the midwest, however, he hails from Kansas City. Rif Raf Giraffe’s work is remarkable in its own right; it has a tendency to be futuristic and is largely cartoonish in intriguingly surreal ways. His work frequently features robots, androids, athletes, superheroes, and animals that have large, bulbous eyes. His signature character, which recurs in many of his pieces, is a cartoon giraffe that has an abnormally short neck and white eyes. Rif Raf’s street art has a heavy-handed presence in his hometown of Kansas City, but he also has murals in Miami, St. Petersburg (Florida), and Los Angeles as well.
From looking at it for just a second it’s obvious that their collab is Hitchcockian in nature. The scene they’ve delivered clearly draws inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 movie, The Birds, but they’ve remixed it with their own anime-style and flair. There are dozens of birds, some represented as shadow forms and others that are more clearly defined with bright red eyes. They are all bearing down on a young blonde woman, who bears a passing resemblance to Melanie Daniels, inside of a Japanese phone booth. The glass facade of the phone booth has cracked in various places from where birds have crashed into it trying to attack her. From the bottom righthand corner of the mural, there’s a wave of mysterious, green ooze that is also encroaching on the sequestered and confused young lady.
Though this scene is haunting and breathes life into our most deeply held fears about birds, the way that Hitchcock’s film did in its day, its stylized, anime elements keep this mural deeply embedded in the realm of horrifying fantasy. The small details present in this painting like the rivets holding the phone booth’s frame together, and the rust beginning to form at its edges, lend this mural a level of realness that make it immersive.
When looking at this mural, its cohesiveness makes it nearly impossible to tell that this is a collaborative piece by two artist with their own distinctive styles. Their two visions have merged harmoniously into a single vision that we, as its consumers, will find both captivating and horrifying. This modern take on an iconic scene from Hitchcock’s classic psychological thriller has reinvigorated an old idea with new life thanks to these two very talented artists.
Where can you find this piece of street art?
This mural is located in East Hollywood on Fountain Avenue in between Normandie Avenue and Mariposa. It's on south facing facade of Vaco Precision Inc.
by SERGIO GARCIA
D*Face is a London based street artist that has made an impression through his use of recurring punk, pop, and comic book imagery. As a teenager, D*Face created hand-drawn stickers to post around his hometown. Soon after, he began to expand his arsenal to include posters, stencils, and spray paint. Now, D*Face is the owner and curator of The Outside Institute, an art gallery in London that focuses on street art. Despite this, D*Face continues to embellish buildings with his art. And fortunately, Los Angeles hosts a few of his murals.
The Culver City neighborhood of Los Angeles is known for its many art galleries and artistic appeal, so it's only fitting that D*Face has a mural in this community. In Going Everywhere Fast, D*Face uses two characters that reoccur often in his work. There's a man on a cruiser-type motorcycle. He's wearing a black, leather motorcycle jacket, gloves, glasses, and has greased hair that invokes the ghost of James Dean. However, this isn’t a Hollywood star. His pale, green skin and sunken face inform us that he is a zombified, rockabilly punk. Preparing for their ride, a blonde woman holds on to him intimately, making the nature of their relationship evident. Like the man, however, she is no regular woman. Out of her head sprout two small wings. And even with this abnormality, she still maintains the appearance of a blonde, Hollywood bombshell. While it’s easy to miss, the woman also sheds a single tear. Is she in a state of melancholy thinking about what she is leaving behind? Or has something devastating just happened to her? Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that these two have stories to tell, and that their ride is just beginning.
This piece by D*Face fascinates me personally due to its heavy rockabilly, punk, and comic book influences. The rockabilly style of both of these characters appeals to a specific subculture and yet can be universally appreciated. At the same time, the style of his art is reminiscent of contemporary graphic novels while still retaining discernible punk influences. D*Face is incredibly skilled at taking such an eclectic mix of various subcultures and adding a Hollywood-type spin in order to create a mural that evidently belongs in Los Angeles.
Where can I find this street art?
Going Everywhere Fast is located on Washington Boulevard and McManus Avenue. This mural is on the side of what appears to be apartment buildings. A notable place of interest nearby is Pinches Tacos.
by SERGIO GARCIA
This mural has been in my neighborhood for many years. So many in fact, that I don’t remember the mural ever not being there. And to me, it’s become a perennial aspect of my surroundings. Unfortunately, I have no concrete evidence as to who the artist might be. Based on street artists I’m familiar with, my best guess is Mr. Brainwash. After thorough inspection of his official Instagram page, he has a few pieces that bear striking similarities to the mural in question. Despite having reached out to his people, as of the writing of this article, I have not received a response. If I do get an answer, this post will definitely be updated. In an effort to get to the bottom of this matter I even went into the liquor store to see if they knew who had put up the mural. This proved to be fruitless. However, in a way, not knowing who the artist is adds a bit of intrigue to this piece.
This mural depicts various pop culture icons sporting aviator sunglasses. Starting on the left, Marilyn Monroe is easily identifiable. Her signature hair gives her away and she’s the only one placed against a black backdrop. Next to her, and the only one not wearing aviator sunglasses, is Ray Charles. Instead, Charles is wearing his usual glasses and throwing up the peace sign while flashing his iconic grin. In the middle, Lou Reed gives us an apathetic look while Bob Marley, to his right, looks off into the distance. This next person was a bit difficult for me to distinguish. The first celebrity that came to mind was W.C. Fields, and a quick Google search confirmed this even though I couldn't find any instances of W.C. Fields in a pinstripe suit. For a moment, I thought it could have also been Winston Churchill, but he wouldn't make sense beside these other celebrities. Therefore, W.C. Fields seems to be the most likely candidate. Lastly, on the far right, Alfred Hitchcock strikes his classic pose with an uninterested look plastered on his face while holding his director clapboard.
The inclusion of such disparate pop culture icons and the way that they overlap and run into one another is captivating and amusing. Here, musicians, directors, actors, and comedians all occupy the same space. The use of stencils to create this piece is one of my favorite aspects and the lack of color (except black and the beige color of the wall) make this piece incredibly simple and the faces easy to discern. Despite the fact that each individual is their own person and known for their own accomplishments, they still share this space with others who have made great contributions to pop culture. And like me, I'm sure that everyone who comes across this mural can identify their favorite mogul.
Where can I find it?
This mural is located in Mid-City. On the corner of Meadowbrook Avenue and Pico Boulevard If you enter the parking lot to Pincher’s Liquor, you can’t miss it. Also nearby is Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles.
by TOMMY JARRELL
Roughly two weeks ago I ran into Angeleno street artist Dr. Knudson while he was revamping his mural in Sunset Junction. Dr. Knudson has crafted many works of art throughout Los Angeles, though many of his works are concentrated in Downtown LA. Knudson has crafted artworks using acrylic paint, airbrush, chalk, spray paint, and patina. Similarly, it seems as though he’s capable of creating art on nearly any surface; he has casted his art onto canvas, copper, chalkboards, brass, napkins, brick walls, motorcycle helmets, and leather jackets. He’s created works of art for Night on Broadway, The Down & Out, 1720, DELIKT Clothing, Nekrogoblikon, Superchief Gallery LA, Manifest Justice, and Spring for Coffee, to name a few of his affiliates.
Dr. Knudson’s work primarily features gritty goblins, anthropomorphic animals, decrepit and post-apocalyptic cityscapes, and enchanting visions of foliage. After sampling his work it’s obvious that his inventive characters and settings are from somewhere else in time, though the influence of Los Angeles’s skyline and crumbling aesthetic have made a clear impression on his work.
The Art Itself
The mural that I caught Dr. Knudson refurbishing was originally created in 2015. In the time since, it has faded in the stark LA sun, but Knudson's recent work has revived it and returned it to its former glory. Its focal point is a small motorcycle gang composed of apes and goblins in a post-apocalyptic city. The goblins are armed and armored, ready to do battle and dispatch of any foes they encounter in this perilous world.
The most prominent goblin is standing up on his bike in the mural’s center. He has a monkey and a smaller goblin loaded up in a backpack strapped to his shoulders. The small, monocled monkey is seemingly performing the role of navigator as he has what appears to be a map in his hand. This monkey and his apparel demonstrate Dr. Knudson’s playful sense of humor. In addition to sporting a monocle, he is decked out in multiple wrist watches and an old military jacket akin to the one donned by the infamous Cap’n Crunch. The goblin in the lower lefthand corner, however, is much more severe. He’s holding knife between his teeth that reminds us of the implicit danger that is looming in this crumbling setting.
The arc of the silhouetted skyline in the background is reminiscent of Los Angeles’s. The sky that hangs above this scene is composed of beautiful, furrowed purple clouds. And in the heaps of rubble behind this motley motorcycle gang, there are many tiny, intriguing details.
Among all this wreckage in the background there are artists, animals, drunks, families, fishermen, heroes, and homies. There is a graffiti artist spray painting an octopus on a collapsing building. There is a family nearby innocently assessing the scene. Friends sit on a bridge smoking, drinking, and fishing like a catastrophe never happened. Another monkey, unaffiliated from the motorcycle gang, hangs from a mangled streetlamp. A turtle stands smoking in the doorway of a boarded up building. Then, from two separate rooftops, Batman and Wonder Woman look out over the remnants of the city, watching for signs of crime, waiting to leap into action.
According to Dr. Knudson all of these figures present in the backdrop of this mural are figures from the local neighborhood. For instance, the father of the building owner, that plays host to Knudson's mural, is the man fishing over the side of the bridge. The street artist who’s making an octopus mural is a local artist who goes by the name of Tones and his two sons are also included as well (one as the monkey hanging from the streetlamp and the other is sitting over on the bridge). The Batman in the mural is an homage to a kid in the community who had a Batman obsession. And the bearded guy drinking a beer is a late community legend who went by the name of Jimmy.
In a conversation that I had with Dr. Knudson he said, "It was important for me to make sure the locals were represented in the mural," and I think that's evident from the details of his work. "I mean they have to live with the art so it better mean something to them. Otherwise it just becomes some sort of selfish billboard for the artist," he continued. His nods to the local community demonstrate that Knudson is an artist who firmly understands that community inclusion is integral to the prolonged survival of his work. And it also demonstrates a level of consideration and respect that are beyond what is required, or even expected of him as a street artist.
Lastly, in the bottom right hand corner of his painting, there are two goblins eating TV dinners in the blue glow of an old television fitted with an antenna. These two goblins, who are participating in such a pedestrian pastime, along with all of the other figures populating this mural’s background, signal to us that life can go on even in a destitute and dilapidated place. And if life can carry on in this post-apocalyptic world that Dr. Knudson has painted, then we, who are far more fortunate by comparison, should be able to do the same in ours.
Where can you find this piece of street art?
You can find Dr. Knudson's mural at the corner of Fountain and Westmoreland. And while you can visibly see this mural from the convenient comfort of your car as you're driving past on Fountain Avenue, I do recommend that you stop so that you can linger awhile and explore this rich painting at your leisure. Dr. Knudson has left so many delightful little nuggets for us in this mural that it would be a shame for you to miss out on them.
by TOMMY JARRELL
It doesn’t take long to recognize that DABSMYLA’s artwork is both ethereal and captivating. DABSMYLA is a dynamic, husband-and-wife, street art duo from Australia. Their murals populate cities all around the world including New York, Tahiti, Berlin, Melbourne, Rio, London, Bergen, Detroit, D.C., and, as you have probably already guessed, Los Angeles. Notably, the twosome has crafted works of art for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards, The Bob Barker MarionetteTheatre, the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Adidas, Sanrio, and others.
Their work is bright and colorful, charming and orchestrated-- like a scene handpicked from one of your most lively dreams. Their work is poppy without being cloying or saccharine. Sometimes it features inventive, cartoonish patterns and characters that can elicit our most genuine and heartfelt smiles.
In their artwork, clouds, drums, eyeballs, pineapples, and even golden popcorn buckets sprout legs and can meander through fantastical worlds. Within their creations, houses, moons, and cans of spray paint possess faces loaded with whimsy and personality. A buck can lounge and sip fine wine by a cozy fire. A cut cake, with a face, can be seemingly aware of its mortal wound. But even within these capacious and vibrant worlds there are remnants of our own like the mountains and cacti outside a window, lifeless vases stuffed with flowers, light fixtures, shelved books, and the sleepy telephone always resting on its rocker nearby. Their art offers us a glimpse into a world like ours, but different. Maybe even better.
This work is abundant, seemingly overflowing with color, creativity, and fauna. The number of flowers, ferns, and leaves result in an astounding amount of depth in this mural. So much, in fact, that the lettering spelling out “COSMIC LOVE” seems to appear organically within their dreamscape, rather than being a separate element that tells us how to feel or read the piece.
The romantic pink and red lettering that emerge from the depths of this painting’s backdrop are naturally complimented by flowers done in the same shades. The plants, the flowering vines, the leaves, and ferns in the foreground that overlap the text feel natural and are necessary to achieve this level of illusion.
What tickles me the most about this mural is the black, eight-legged critter positioned on a pale green leaf near its center. His yellow eyes directed toward the upper righthand corner of the painting make him appear skittish and paranoid in an endearing and creaturely way. The fact that he is the only character in the piece makes him even more remarkable and darling to a mural that has the capacity to inspire us to live and love more vividly when we walk away from it, even if we must do so reluctantly.
So, where is this artwork?
You can find this exquisite piece of street art on the northeast corner of Wilton and Hollywood Boulevard. Also nearby there's a California Donuts, Catch 56, Sabor Y Cultura, and a number of other cafes.
by SERGIO GARCIA
Invader is an artist whose work is easily recognizable and can be found all over the globe. From Tokyo to Versailles, Bhutan to Paris, and of course, here in Los Angeles, Invader has been able to put up his art in over 75 cities. And yet, as widespread as Invader's work is, not much is known about the actual artist. Working masked and under the veil of night, Invader continues to be an artist that prefers to stay in the shadows while his art gets the limelight.
Invader takes his name from the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders and the majority of his art incorporates these characters. Using square ceramic tiles, Invader brings these characters out of the game and into our world while still retaining their original 8-bit forms. We can appreciate this wholeheartedly in this piece. Invader has used white tiles to recreate the Happy Face Mac icon. However, instead of the Happy Face, Invader has used vibrant, red tiles to place a space invader on a light blue background.
The color and juxtaposition caught my eye and as I drove by it on my way home from work I couldn't help but turn to look and appreciate the ingenuity of this piece. Using ceramic tiles is so vastly different from most street artists and definitely not a common sight on the walls of local businesses in LA. Not only that, but the sheer nostalgia that this piece brings bubbling forth is refreshing. I wouldn't consider myself a gamer, but I did enjoy playing Space Invaders as a kid and seeing one of the titular characters on display, in my city, made me smirk.
The use of the Happy Face Mac icon set me off on yet another nostalgia trip. The icon was familiar to me because it’s the face that greeted me whenever I turned on one of the old Macs in computer class back in elementary school. This piece by Invader is easily becoming one of my favorite pieces in Los Angeles.
On its own, this piece is stunning. Yet, all around it there's so much going on that it's hard to appreciate this piece without incorporating the minor things that help elevate Invader's work. To the left of the piece, we have four pink faces that seem to come out of the wall. The fact that they're baby doll faces adds a sinister twist. Next to it, on a pipe, there’s a lone, green crayon sticker. Then on the right, we have stacked on top of each other, six different additions. Starting from the top we see a goofy looking face with the word "FAVORITE" written across the eyes, a "FO5H WAS HERE" sticker, a family crossing sign, the head of Frankenstein's monster with tentacles instead of a body and an eye. Lastly, we have what is one of my favorite additions: in the bottom right, a black, spray-painted cat looks up at Invader's work, as if it’s appreciating the beauty of the piece. This motley assortment of different stickers combined with Invader's piece, the baby doll faces, and the spray-painted cat, fuse together to form something incredibly peculiar and alluring.
Where can I find it?
On the corner where Beverly Blvd. converges onto Temple St, and to the left of the driveway into Beverly Auto Body.
Tommy Jarrell is a poet, writer, and artist who lives in Los Angeles. He has previously written for Bleacher Report and Throwback. His poems have appeared in The Squaw Valley Review and 805.