Foster The People – “Supermodel” Mural in 360º

Foster The People “Supermodel”
Pre-order on iTunes

Last week the LA-based band Foster The People dropped their first single, “Coming Of Age,” from their upcoming new album “Supermodel.” The embedded music video features a time-lapse video documenting the creation of a mural for the album’s cover art.

This seven story mural is located at Santa Fe Lofts on 539 S. Los Angeles Street in downtown Los Angeles. It is considered one of the largest in the on the West Coast. The mural was executed by the Young & Sick collective that also created the cover art for Foster The People’s first album, ‘Torches.’ Visit

Dig the music? The entire album will be released on March 18th. The following month Foster The People are set to return to Coachella on April 12th.  That’s where I first got turned on to them a few years ago so if you can manage to get tix, it’s totally worth it.

Today, (January 23rd), Foster The People will play a free show in Los Angeles. Follow @fosterthepeople on Twitter for more information about tickets and location.


UPDATE (01/23/2014 @ 14:01):

Tickets for our LA show tonight are available now ONLY at MOCA Grand Avenue with a suggested $5 cash donation to the…
Posted by Foster The People on Thursday, January 23, 2014


DTLA in 360° Panorama Series: Audrey Hepburn by Free Humanity

Free Humanity‘s finished mural “It’s that wonderful old fashioned idea that others come first and you come second” is located the corner of the Winston and Los Angeles in DTLA, adjacent to Indian Alley. It features style icon Audrey Hepburn with a riot of candy raver colored hearts. I think the artist might have a crush on the divine Audrey (and who wouldn’t?) as this is not the first time she’s appeared in his work and it probably will not be his last. It is a commissioned piece that was completed in November, 2013. Check it out on Google Maps here.

DTLA Arts District in 360° Series: Tristan Eaton “I Was a Botox Junkie”


“I Was a Botox Junkie” by artist Tristan Eaton appears on a wall outside Zip Sushi Izakaya near the intersection of East 3rd Street and Traction Avenue in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District. Check it out on Google Maps here.

While Eaton is a Los Angeles born artist, he is now based in New York, where he heads Thunderdog Studio, a successful creative studio working for clients such as Disney, Canon, Kid Robot, Dell, Nike, Nissan, Rockstar Games and many others.

DTLA Arts District in 360° Panorama Series: Damon Martin “Every Piece of Ivory Comes from a Dead Elephant”

View on Google Maps


“Every Piece of Ivory Comes
from a Dead Elephant”
little planet projection

Artist Damon Martin’s piece entitled “Every Piece of Ivory Comes from a Dead Elephant” is part of a multi-national campaign funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to spread awareness of the plight of elephants. Completed in 2012, it is located at the intersection of Rose and 3rd Street in DTLA (approximate address is 700 E 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90013).

Of his work, the artist stated, “These elephants are still in crisis. Their population is in crisis. Poaching is rampant. I am trying to bring awareness to the fact that the United States is still the number two consumer of ivory in the world. These elephants, for me, will represent a commitment towards community, family, loyalty, and also the lack of awareness of elephants themselves and how they relate to each other.’

“In recent history we have come to learn how they’re actually communicating, which I find shocking; that we went to the moon in the 60′s and we’re just now discovering how elephants are communicating. Up to a couple of miles away, they can communicate through a very low frequency; humans can’t hear it. It’s pretty shocking that we know so little about another species.’

“I know that the poachers are getting about $500 for a pair of tusks. They’re destroying this amazing, incredible, and highly intelligent animal for $500 for just maybe 3% of its overall mass. It’s not only destroying the animal. It’s destroying the community and who we are as a species.”

DTLA Arts District in 360° Panorama Series: Kim West “The One with the Bubbles”

“The One With The Bubbles” is a whimsical mural by artist Kim West that can be found on East 3rd Street on a wall that is sandwiched between Wurstkuche and the Apolis Common Gallery.

Peace Goddess
by Shepard Fairy

If you look up to the left you can catch a glimpse of Shepard Fairey’s “Peace Goddess” which is part of the LA Freewalls Projects. Turn to your right, look down the street and you’ll see in the distance a mural entitled “Cream of the Crop”, a collaborative piece by Dabs Myla and How and Nosm.

West said in making this mural: “I always have a plan when beginning a painting on an outdoor wall. But just like when working on canvas or paper in the studio – sometimes the idea works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Stressing about whether the plan is going to go well or not while making the work is not constructive, and I have to work hard at keeping that negativity at bay while making decisions. There’s also the issue of leaving the work in an unfinished state at the end of a day. Out in the open. It freaks me out.”

Below is a video of the artist’s process.

DTLA Arts District in 360° Panorama Series: The Mona Lisa of the Arts District

The Mona Lisa of the Arts District by graffiti artist Thomas Burns is located at Traction Avenue and Rose Street in DTLA. 

Photo LA Times

Though it may be impolite and completely un-pc to say this, the truth is she’s a bit old having been gracing the side of this building since Burns was commissioned to do the mural on behalf of a production company filming a soft drink commercial in May 2008. Six years later the paint has begun to peel and her age is beginning to show.

By the end of 2013 taggers and bombers had taken to laying down another coat of paint and throwing-up wheatpaste posters making it difficult to discern that once upon a time the grand dame was sporting a Dali-esque mustache. (Image right)

At the start of the year, the Downtown Muse posted this prognostication about the fair lady’s fate on Instagram by saying: “I predict #MonaLisa #mural won’t last 2014 #artsdistrict #dtla #RoseSt #streetart”.

A follower by the handle “championmarty” remarked, “No respect, Mona Lisa smile is what made it.. They had to go right over her mouth.. Rude”.

Rude, maybe. But oh, baby it’s wild world and it’s hard to get by on a smile.

A search on Google maps offered this image (below) of her younger days.

Earlier iteration of the Mona Lisa of the Arts District on Google Maps.
UPDATE: Three weeks later, this piece was completely rebooted!

DTLA Arts District in 360° Panorama Series: B.B. Bastidas ”Pluto”

Over the New Year I had an opportunity to revisit the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District and for the next few days, I will be presenting a series of 360° panoramic images of some of the neighborhood’s murals.

The area initially was used to grow grapes and by 1849 was the largest producer of wine in California but by the turn of the century oranges and grapefruit became the staple produce. In fact, in 1909 DW Griffith filmed parts of In Old California, Hollywood’s first feature film, in the area’s citrus groves.

By WWII, factories and the rail freight industry supplanted the groves. But the area morphed again during the 70s when the artist movement began to take root and the creation of illegal live-work spaces was developed at a time when space was available at a mere nickel per square foot.

Recognizing the need to regulate the housing situation, the City of Los Angeles passed the “Artist in Residence” or “AIR” ordinance in 1981 that legalized the residential use of formerly industrial buildings for artists.

It was during this period and throughout the 90s that the area was known for its raw and edgy art scene and the crown jewel, such as it was, was Al’s Bar where punk-rock and alternative bands including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, the Fall, Sonic Youth, Beck and the Misfits performed on the dive bar’s stage before making it big.

Real estate prices were still affordable by the turn of the millennium when many of my San Francisco artist friends relocated to the area after the dot bomb as prices for properties were still dirt-cheap.

Today the community has made a noticeable shift as wealthier residents and up-scale businesses have increased property value. Notable residents (past and present) include George Herms, Paul McCarthy and Shepard Fairey, writer filmmaker Frank Miller, singer Meshell Ndegeocello, actors Forrest Whittaker, Jenna Fischer and Dave Foley to name a few.

Needless to say, the real estate here has become exorbitant and community leaders are struggling to balance the economic opportunities offered by gentrification with the need to preserve the essential tone and character of the Arts District as a true creative community.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting panoramic images specifically located at the heart of the art’s district.

Today’s mural by B. B. Bastidas entitled “Pluto” measures 15′ x 30′. Located on Garey Street at 3rd.