by TOMMY JARRELL
Spencer McCarty is a visual artist who was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He moved to Los Angeles in 2013, after studying copywriting at the University of Missouri — Columbia, and quickly began pursuing a career as an artist.
McCarty’s artwork demonstrates his evident talent as a drawer and painter. His works showcase a bold deployment of color and lines that convey a striking amount of movement. In a 2014 interview with RAW, McCarty accurately describes himself as an “abstract portrait painter.” His paintings largely feature captivating depictions of the female form, animals, celebrities, and other pop culture icons. He has captured the likenesses of Patti Smith, Florence (from Florence in the Machine), SIA, Tupac, James Dean, Biggie, Rick Sanchez, and others in his incredibly stylized paintings.
Since beginning his career as a street artist in 2015, McCarty has crafted over a dozen murals in Los Angeles and also has another that is located outside of a hostel in Santorini, Greece. He has created murals for Volunteers of America Los Angeles (VOALA), Catch LA, the Mid City Arts + Music Festival, and, most recently, Plungerhead Wines.
I have passed the mural exhibited above on my way to and from work for the past two years and it always adds a dose of brightness and exuberance to my day. McCarty’s audacious use of color in this piece makes it feel lively and contemporary. The lady’s blue lips, the purple, pink, and yellow incorporated into her fierce feathered headdress, and the way that they compliment her flowing green hair, quickly made this mural one of my favorites in the city.
There is something illusive about this painting that draws me in and makes me want to live as this fierce chieftain-warrior. Maybe it’s her headdress that appeals to something tribal that lives deep within us all, or her undeniable power and attitude that we all wish we could convey to the rest of the world. What ever it is, I know this is a mural that I keep going back to willingly, regardless of my commute, because it always seems to have something to offer.
Where can you spot this painting?
This painting can be found in Little Armenia, on the northeast corner of Fountain Ave and Edgemont. Other nearby sites and include Square one Dining, the Scientology building, and Made Solid.
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.