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Artistic Inspiration

A+D Museum Presents: Beyond Graffiti 2

Beyond Graffiti 2 Exhibit; Photo by Grace Lennon

"In its purest form, graffiti is a democratic art form that revels in the American Dream" ‐ Gregory J. Snyder

Any passerby in an urban cityscape has observed the colorful, provocative, illegal "eyesore" that is graffiti. Although many consider the spray‐painted pieces a nuisance, graffiti has been gaining more and more recognition from the international art world. Graffiti can be more than just adding color or words to a wall – it is an artistic reflection of the architecture, culture and the landscape of the city in which one lives. It has the power to re‐contextualize, re‐energize and re‐imagine a building and its place in the neighborhood, such as transforming empty warehouse buildings into pulsing communities of art, design and culture.

Beyond Graffiti 2 Exhibit; Photo by Grace Lennon

Beyond Graffiti II, an exhibit recently on display at the Architecture and Design Museum on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles showcased rich urban art scene, pushing past the preconception of the spray can. The blank white walls of the gallery space were transformed into a canvas of graffiti art by some of the city's most iconic artists, including Aise Born, Atlas, Axis, Chaz, Defer, Eder Cetina of LAAC, Eyeone, Fishe, Kofie, Krush and Swank IT. The exhibit sheds light on L.A.'s valuable graffiti art history and its unique close‐knit community.

Curated by the Los Angeles Art Collective (LAAC), Beyond Graffiti 2 was also colorful farewell to the building the A + D has called home since 2010. The building will be demolished within the next few months to make room for the L.A. Metro's new Purple Line train station.

Beyond Graffiti 2 Exhibit; Photo by Grace Lennon

Throughout the exhibit, pieces by different artists overlapped one another in a collage‐like fashion, acting as a singular composition. This echoed the collaborative nature of contemporary graffiti in LA, respecting its roots as public art. From Kofie's constructivist composition of tilted lines and shapes, to larger‐than‐life portraits, to Atlas's renditions of cartoon cats, each artist displayed their own unique within the space. The exhibit conveyed a spirit of raw talent, while also articulating political and social messages to whomever attended.

Beyond Graffiti 2 Exhibit; Photo by Grace Lennon

Though limited by the manufacturers of spray paint, the color palettes displayed in the exhibit were an amazing source of color inspiration. Bold and dynamic colors were articulated through blending and gradients, from radiant orange to deep blues and purples.

Shown below are a few more shots of the exhibit.

Beyond Graffiti 2 Exhibit; Photos by Grace Lennon

Architecture and Design Museum Exterior; Photo provided by A+D with permission

For more information regarding Beyond Graffiti 2 and the Architecture and Design Museum, visit https://aplusd.org/