Based on the amount of attention it gets, there are a lot of people in love with the city of Los Angeles.
Street art, when done correctly, is a love affair with the city. Most people who live in any city utilize the city for what it offers. That is, they go to sleep in their home, they drive the roads to work, they visit friends and engage in all the activities of their life within the physical boundaries of a city, and one might expect a certain environmental climate or what have you, but in general, with most people, there is no interaction with the city itself.
The process of getting up is a hands on endeavor. For a true street artist, getting up requires a relationship with the city, something akin to a relationship with a person you love. The more you love your city, the better you know it. Knowing the intimate details of the city enables the artist to find the cuts and spots to place art where both the art, and the urban environment, will shine.
Much of the time, street art is applied during stealth missions during the dead of night. At these times, the artist is alone with the city. The artist is not on his way somewhere, or doing something else. There is no extraneous agenda. Just the artist and the city, in its raw essence.
Being alone with the city is a truly different experience. At night, the city is changed. You begin to see the city itself on a primal level. You hear its pulse in the buzz of street lights. You feel its heartbeat radiate from the open pavement. You see a coyote on Beverly Boulevard and become aware that the city has a life of its own.
It might sound romanticized, but anyone who has walked alone in the wee hours of the night can understand what a powerfully different experience the exposed environment really is. Night time feels dangerous. It is dangerous. Yet street artists are venturing out into the night, visiting the dark corners of the city and scaling high walls. They are risking physical harm, violence and getting arrested. Most seasoned street artists have experienced some or all of the problems mentioned above, jeopardizing their own life, limbs and liberty. Still they do it, just to share their art with the city. True love happens when you desire to share your passions with the object of your attention. Like Romeo scaling a wall to be with his Juliet, getting up is nothing short of an act of love.
Look at the streets. They are full with love letters. Based on the amount of attention it receives, apparently there are a lot of people in love with LA.
Stay Up, Los Angeles.
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more