Las Tres Mujeres

3 ladies

These three famous ladies have been immortalized on the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Echo Park Ave.  Like last week’s feature artwork, this mural was also painted by LA Steez.  Comparisons of this mural with he others really highlight the artist’s range.

the-broken-columnThe first is Frida Kahlo, famed Mexican painter, who was born on July 6, 1907 and died on July 13, 1954.  Her art is generally classed as surrealism.  Kahlo was married to fellow artist, Diego Rivera and is best known for her self portraits.  She is quoted as saying “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”  This painting is entitled The Broken Column and was painted in 1944.

sotomayorThe second is Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was appointed by President Obama and assumed her role as an associate justice on August 8, 2009.  She was born in Bronx, New York on June 25, 1954 and is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School.  The justice has a High School named after her:  Sonia Sotomayor School of History and Dramatic arts, which is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District.  Famous quote: “Yes, someone like me can do this.”

selenaLast we have Selena Quintanilla-Perez, famed singer, a.k.a. the Queen of Tejano.  She was born in Lake Jackson, Texas on April 16, 1971, and tragically she was murdered on March 31, 1995–at just 23 years of age–by Yolanda Saldivar,  a close family associate.  The singer won a Grammy in 1994 for Best Mexican American album for Selena Live!  One of the best know hits from the album is I Could Fall in Love.  “Selena,” a movie base on her life was released in 1997.

Many thanks to this artist for reminding us all of the many contributions and positive influences of Latin American art, culture, (and people!)  in America.

 

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Anime Alley

Yugio

The murals featured this week are by LA Steez and are located in the very first alley at Logan St. and Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.  This piece is proof that, often, you have to get out of the car and walk to find–and appreciate–public artwork.  I spotted a mural on Logan St. while driving down Sunset.  It wasn’t until I got out of the car that I noticed this even better piece.  Walking down the alley a little ways, there was an entire “exhibit” just begging to be viewed.

la lindathe fiddlertea

This one was a little misleading.  I was looking for the “Doom Tea Shop,” however, according to the artist’s Facebook page, this piece is “just some random sh…”  But I like it!

Again, though, these pictures really don’t do the artwork justice.  You have to see it for yourself…

When you do, let me know what you think about it.

The Little Park That Could

muralThis is just one of the murals at the Fox and Laurel Park located on the corner of–you guessed it–Fox Street and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in San Fernando, Ca.  It was painted by Kristy Sandoval and is entitled “Sustainable Dream.”  The mural spans the entire length of the park and is something that can only be appreciated in person.  The meandering pathway that cuts through the flowering bushes, succulents, and ornamental grasses allows the viewer to take in the full scope of the piece.

sign

This type of park is referred to as a “pocket park“and is created to offer communities pedestrian, green spaces in urban environments that offer visitors a quiet place to sit and be.  Fox and Laurel Park is the result of a collaboration between the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.  The mural installations were funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Along with the public art, this pocket part also features exercise equipment and community garden plots.  Here’s an idea for the weekend: visit some of the many pocket parks in Los Angeles County.

singer

 

NoHo Weekend

Soliloquy

Soliloquy by Levi Ponce. On the the corner of Huston St. and Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA.

The wonderful thing about the NoHo Arts District is there’s so much to do and see.  It is home to contemporary theaters, art galleries, cafes, shops, and really excellent street art that you kind of just stumble onto.  This adds to the NoHo experience.  The public art is generally tucked away on side streets and not always noticeable from the main boulevard. The best way to find and view the art is by walking.  Street ViewThis featured piece is on the side of Al’s Discount Furniture Store and down the street from Sweetie Pie’s.  Consider this idea for a fun and relatively inexpensive weekend activity:  ride the metro to North Hollywood’s art district;  browse some of the unique shops; eat at one of the many eateries on or near Lankershim Boulevard; take a walk to view the many murals and other public artworks in the area.

Side note about the artist, Levi Ponce:  Like two of the other down low Picassos that have been featured, he too is from Pacoima, CA.  It appears there are a lot of very talented street artists coming out of that area who are working together to make a positive impact on their childhood community through art…and fortunately sharing their artistic gifts in other neighborhoods.

 

 

Public Art is a Public Service

IMG_0907

This was painted by  Rah Azul and is on Bradley Ave. in Pacoima, CA between Van Nuys Blvd. and Filmore.

Not that long ago, the area where this mural is located was lined with gang tags and what has historically (and incorrectly) been referred to as graffiti.  I say incorrectly because, generally speaking, gang tagging is NOT art.  It’s destruction of private and public property. (But that’s a subject for another post).  It would appear to me, an outsider, that the street art has elevated the community.  I could feel the respect that the residents have for these public art displays when I was taking the photo.  I was so involved in the art, I didn’t realize that I was actually holding up traffic.  It wasn’t until my husband yelled for me to “get out of the street,” that I noticed the five vehicles that were patiently allowing me to take in and ponder what they appreciate daily.  It felt to me that the people in those cars believed that I should have been there doing exactly what I was doing: honoring the talent of amazing artists and acknowledging their history and culture.

Just as the murals of artists such as  Rivera, Orozco, and Guayasamin inspired the people in the past, so do these public art pieces.  Perhaps it reminds them of their rich cultural heritage and dignity before God, at a time when political puppets and individuals filled with jealous hatred and fear strive to strip them of it.