Thursday, December 1, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy December Street Art Lovers!

We are in the final stretch, racing to start 2017. I hope you can look back over the last 11 months and see that it was for you if not a prosperous time, at least a time of growth. If not, you've got 30 days left, not counting this one, to squeeze something significant in ...

But enough of that. Who doesn't like a good picture of the young Tony Curtis? Raise your hands...

Artist unattributed, Tony Curtis Tribute, paint on retail establishment (2011).
Sponsors: Jill Curtis and Shiloh Horse Rescue

Just as I thought, nobody. Well, someone though well enough of him to put this tribute mural on the side of store in East Hollywood, on The Boulevard, just east of Normandie.

As you might guess--and will KNOW if you drive around Hollywood at all--there are many, MANY, MANY cheap and cheesey (and poorly executed) murals of film and TV celebrities on all kinds of storefronts, hot-bunk motels, parking lot walls, and even residences. There's almost always Marilyn Monroe or Michael Jackson or Elvis (never someone like Lionel Barrymore). THIS ONE is different. It's tasteful, it's unique, it has a point of view. So enjoy!  Whoever the artist is, they had a version on the Hollywood Freeway on one of the underpasses. I haven't seen it a while as I've crawled through many rush-hour traffic jams, but this one abides.

Well, it's time to pay the rent so I must bid you adieu as Tony would say, "with cordiality and good cheer!"


Thursday, November 17, 2016

iT'S STreeT arT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers and everybody else,

Are you feeling like you're on the margin today? Left out? Shunted off to one side? Left hanging? Just hanging on? Lost? Well, you're not alone, to wit:

This pair of kids was just hanging out on Hollywood Blvd., right near the freeway on-ramp.

Artist unattributed, Just Hanging On, paint on brick wall.

After finding them, running an errand, and walking back the same way I came, I encountered this young man, shielding his eyes from the bright sun, looking for the way.

Artist unattributed, Be Humble, Be Noble, paint on building overhang.

If you think this is a lot of wasted space, I just wanted to give you a sense that these works were executed on slivers of building that overhang the facade of the building that they belong to, and stick past the facade of the neighboring building.

When property owners construct buildings in this fashion, with no regard to the general frontages of the neighboring buildings (of which there are many in Hollywood), you get very jagged storefronts. But you wind up with these long vertical, shotgun-like panels for muralists to stretch their imaginations upon, like the side panels of medieval triptychs, except that there's no middle or complementary panels.

Artist unattributed, Steampunk Heart, paint on liquor store.
In case you didn't know, Hollywood, my hometown, is a destination for runaway children (much to the advantage of the prostitution and pornography industries) and always has been. It's famous, the climate is warm; all the same reasons everybody else moves here. So, the presence of these unattended children on the Boulevard raises no eyebrows.

I guess when you buy that one-way Greyhound ticket to Hollywood, it's all about hope, but anyone who lives and stays in Hollywood for any length of time (everyone tries to to move to Culver City, the Westside, or the suburbs after a year or two) there's just a regular exposure to destitution, deferred maintenance, dense population, and homeless panhandlers that can just harden your heart into a mechanical construct as you try your damndest to look past all of that and feign interest in the numerous souvenir tee-shirt shops run by Asians and Middle-Easterners up and down the Walk of Fame. [Was all that god-awful depressing prose just a set-up for this nice piece of street art? You decide!]

By the way, this heart can be found at the corner of Melrose and Normandie, probably one of the busiest corners in L.A. where two two mostly residential streets intersect, handling more traffic than it was ever designed to, because the Hollywood Freeway has an on-ramp and an off-ramp are off on side streets and lots of people have to make left turns. If you can avoid the Melrose/Normandie off-ramp, you're advised to do so, but it's really unavoidable if you're headed into West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

Ah, gotta pay the rent. Have a wonderful Thursday!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers,

Are you feeling proud for any reason today? Maybe you're a Chicago Cubs fan and like all sports fans, you're feeling especially proud for an accomplishment you had absolutely nothing to do with. Hey, as the world's laziest man, I think that's great! Because I've got a couple of proud birds for you today; the bird that says "pride," the peacock.

Artist SJ, Hyperion Peacock, paint on building.

I've been wanting to share this one for a long time and have been waiting for a day when the cars were not there, but it has never happened. The peacock is long gone. This last summer it was painted over to stump for Bernie Sanders, and now there's something else. But this was located off Hyperion between Fountain Junction and Tracy.

Peacocks are a common subject for muralists. I think it's obvious why. Lots of color, brashness, high contrast, lightning-quick recognizability. Did you know peacock feathers are really brown? And the guy birds only grow them for mating season, then they molt off (getting longer each year).

Artist Punch, Hollywood Peacock, paint on building.

Here's another proud fella on Hollywood Blvd., right at the freeway on-ramp. There are several colonies of feral peacocks in Southern California. If a local artist wanted to do some life sketching, she or he need go no farther than Palos Verdes or the Arboretum. You can too. I think I've seen them at the L.A. Zoo too. You cannot view this mural in person except behind a chain-link fence. Thank goodness for camera phones that have tiny lenses that can pushed through gate openings to get unobstructed views.

I knew of another peacock mural on Olympic and I went hunting for it this last Sunday, but alas, the building it grace had been demolished. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Here are alternate views for you:

Have a wonderful Thursday, all of you!


Friday, October 28, 2016

Picture posting of YTR734 for private party 3307 (also YCR2330II and YTR6310ZS)

If you're just passing thru looking for street art, sorry, I'm using the space today to show a trumpet I'm selling to someone:

These are the three Yamaha horns I'm trying to divest myself of. All three are playable. On the off chance you are a passer-by and want to buy any of these at listed prices, contact me at

YTR 734 - Professional model, based on the Schilke 5 I believe. Very good condition, has some dings and scratches. $300 firm.

YCR 2330II - Student model cornet with shepherd's crook - like new condition, $200 firm. Nobody really wants this kind of horn, so it'll probably be donated to a middle school for beginning winds. (Great starter horn for younger kids: little resistance, easy to hold and balance, not a strident sound)

YTR 6310ZS Bobby Shew model - professional horn - Very good condition, has minor dents and scratches.  $600 firm in private showing, but currently on auction at Ebay and will let go at whatever that market brings (started at $400).

Thursday, October 20, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers,

Last week I shared with you a wall of eyes on the side of a bakery. Today we have another installment in that theme with another wall of eyes:

Artist #artofchase and #topofoto, Wall of Eyes, paint on two-storey building (2015).

This building sits at the corner of a 6-point intersection  where Sunset Blvd. meets Hollywood Blvd, Hillhurst, Virgil, and Sunset Drive. You can almost fall asleep waiting for your turn at a stoplight here. And if you're crossing the street? You gotta look every direction and be ready to run. No wonder this building thinks it's got to have so many eyes open ...

There are more on two other sides as well.

But have no fear, there are other body parts to take in as well:

In case you think this looks familiar, yes we've seen these eyes before on a previous posting:

There's even a spot on Melrose where you see these eyes. I can't find them right now, but I'll give to you some day.

Well, Thursday's about over. Enjoy what's left of it.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers,

I gotta hit and run today. But all I gotta say is: "The eyes of East Hollywood are upon you..."

Artist "Dazzle," Wall of Eyes, spray paint on parking lot wall.

So here we are in the part of East Holly called Thai Town and you're thinking this has to be a Thai business right? Those eyes sure look East Asian to me, single-lidded (kinda like mine). But you would be wrong. This is on a wall of a parking lot for an Armenian bakery. I'd tell where it is exactly, but you can Google the bakery name...

There's just something very frothy about this style; it reminds me of fashion illustration in the waning 1980s to early 1990s, very nostalgic to an old timer like me.

Anyway, gotta go.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hello East Hollywood Street Art Lovers!

Time for a little home team pride:

Artist "Yore" (?), Supernatural Dodger in the Sky, paint on apartment complex (2016).

OK, this image probably has all kinds of allusions (what appears to be memorial portrait [angel wings, halo]; face looks like a particular person, melted bat, name "Yore"), but I'm afraid I don't get any of them. I DO know that is the L.A. Dodgers logo he's wearing there on the left sleeve.

Immediately to the right of our angel athlete is a stylized portrait of a young woman. The basement-level porthole window has been worked into this portrait's head, giving this woman a cyborg-like vibe. The varied fireworks of the spray-painted lines give this image a punk-festive look. Love the X-ray vertebrae anchoring her firmly to the ground.

Moving right along ever rightward, we have got a wall of classic name-identity art. This is a dynamic wall. I've  been monitoring this wall for a while and this particular portion keeps getting layered upon. There are at least five layers that I've noted since I have begun watching several weeks ago.

This particular wall has four metered parking spaces in front of it. I've been waiting for a day on my morning commute when all parking spaces are clear so that I can get a good photo shot; it's taken MONTHS of waiting. Finally a such day showed up.

This panel has an overall feel of a joyful, a psychedelic whale splashing down North Kingsley Drive. And here we have the last panel:

... more layers of name-identity art. If you're having deja vu--YES you have been here before. This wall has gotten refreshed at least twice since I've been running this blog. (about two years). We had a Grinch lookalike in an icy landscape at one time.

I was curious what the Google picture truck captured when it went by. It went by a few months ago because it has a version of this mural as it was going up, but if you stop and look at the garage, it picks up a view probably years old, before the graffiti artists were given both full reign and free rein.

It had the look of just another Sinclair Paints Navajo White apartment house. See? I'm sure the neighboring property owners liked this street scene much more, but street life must poke through now and then.Good thing for us followers of popular aesthetics.

It's time to pay the rent kids, so I must leave you now. But keep tuning in; if you don't like what you see, wait a bit and something will eventually come along that you love.

Persevere and love one another,

Thursday, September 22, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! Autumnal Equinox, Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Happy Fall to you all!

I was heading down Western Avenue one day recently and happened upon this new image:

Artist @Ginoflo, Inner Beauty, Outer Manifestation of Love, paint on wall facing gas station.

The great sage "They" tells us that what really counts is what's on the inside. I think this sentiment is captured quite succinctly in this image, don't you?

Big leg close up

Like underground comic artist Robert Crumb, I like big legs on females. I'm pretty sure the main figure here is female ... but if not, who cares? And it's great thing she has big legs. The bigger the limb, the more imagery!

I mention Robert Crumb because this piece reminds me very much of the underground comics I discovered as a wee lad in the 1970s. They were all black and white and sometimes there were just pen-and-ink pages that were simply a wandering landscape of weird images all linked together.

Image result for zap comics
I remember my first discovery of underground comics. I used to go to Bennett's Book Store on Hollywood Blvd. and pick up the latest copies of Warren Publications Creepy, Eerie,or Vampirella, or other smaller format comics like Marvel and DC. As I walked down the boulevard I noticed a small store on which part of the signage said "Underground Comics."

I had NO idea what an underground comic was. I was probably 12 or 13. I believe it was called the "The Bald Eagle." I knew nothing of the other kinds of stuff they had there. I smelled of incense and was quite dark. I would later learn that such a place was called a head shop. I saw the familiar structure of the revolving comic book rack and headed straight for it and started looking. Zap #0 was the first one I picked up. And I had never seen such a thing. This was nothing like Superman, Action, Archie, House of Secrets, etc.

The guy behind the counter had no problem selling it to me, bless his heart. This was my introduction to non-linear storytelling (oh, and there was sex and drugs to learn about too...). Hollywood Boulevard was a very different kind of place back then too. Right on the same block I'd pick up the bus going east toward home.

I stood right in front of the Gold Cup Cafe, which had become a hangout for gay men. So there was much spirited greeting between guys who knew each other as they came in and out. I remember calling my Dad once to come pick me up because it was going to rain and he told me not to stand in front of that place. I guess he knew it's rep as indicated in this Jackson Browne song:

"Down at the golden cup
They set the young ones up
Under the neon light
Selling day for night"
[Jackson Browne, Boulevard, 1980]

Image result for pickwick books hollywoodImage result for pickwick books hollywoodAnother go-to spot on the boulevard was Phil Harris Records where I would go and find whatever I could on sale to augment my record collection of classical music--my tastes at the time ran to the 19th-century romantics because I was a trumpet player and loved to hear brass sections.

Image result for pickwick books hollywoodWhen me and my brothers were small, my Mom would take us to Pickwick Books which was also in the same vicinity. She was always buying romance and historical fiction. The place had three stories. I believe the nonfiction books were on the 2nd floor. The 3rd (it was probably just a loft) floor was my favorite though. Mom would frequently tell me I could spend X number dollars and they had all the bargain remainders up there going for mere cents.

Alright, that's enough of that. Time to pay the rent kids.


Oh, and here's the whole wall:

LOTS of love to you all!

Found the artists on Instagram: Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! - Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers and assorted friends,

We've just come off of a big patriotic holiday so how about a good ol' American eagle today?

Artist unattributed, Guardian of Truth, Justice, and the American Waste, paint on metal dumpster corral doors.

If you're thinking that looks like the lid of trash dumpster just above the wing on the left, you would be right. Here we have a red, white, and blue eagle spreading their wings, protecting the skyline of what I'm going to guess is Los Angeles.

You have to walk down a dead-end alley behind a Methodist church off Sunset Boulevard, right new Kaiser Permanente to find this one. I'm guessing the only folks who get to see this work are custodians, criminals on the run, and street junkies who have found a quiet place to partake of their recently acquired recreational substances.

Sam the eagle seem lonely on this page all by hisself so I'm throwing in a bonus utility box that proudly announces my home turf of East Hollywood. This was probably a local schoolgirl's civic project from a nearby school. Maybe I'm being sexist, but it would not occur to most boy artists I know to create a street mural of cupcakes, pies, and tarts. This mural is quite old surprisingly is free of "hate-on" graffiti (only a couple of writeovers), but the charm of it still shines through.

Thanks for looking in. This blog is still looking for a stride having been cut off from its original scenic content, but have no fear--something will show itself in due time.

The clock on the wall says its time to go kids, so we'll see you back here soon.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

iT'S STreeT arT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! - Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers,

The King of Pop may be gone (his birthday in 4 days, August 29) but he continues to inspire street artists no end.

Artists various, Thrilling from Beyond the Grave and Beyond, paint on supply house.

This mural appears on the side of an electrical supply store on Hollywood Blvd. I don't have a context shot so you'll just have to get the sense from a bunch of details. I will go from left to right.

Detail: Image #1 - boy with lightbulb and bird

Detail: Name art #1

Detail: Image #2 - The King!  

Detail: Name art #2

Detail: Name art #3

We've got 2 images and three identity marks covering the entire wall of this establishment.  If I could decipher the names, I would, but I can't. So, you'll just have to enjoy them for what they are.

I think the lightbulb being held by the kid in image #1 is a nod to the business within, but that's about as far as it goes.

This is in a very colorful parking lot. the wall of eyes that I posted several weeks back sits just opposite this mural AND there is another one as well -- I'll probably show that one to you next week.

OK kids, gotta pay the rent. We'll see you next week at this time.