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September 19, 2012 | By Deborah Vankin
A mystery street artist with a sense of humor has turned parts of downtown L.A. into a guerrilla art installation. Eight neighborhood landmarks or areas have been marked with official-looking city placards that offer what appear to be background information about the location. One, for instance, says that a downtown dumpster was designed by Andy Warhol. Though the artworks are unsigned, Culture Monster has learned that they are called "Art Appears" and are the work of the artist who calls himself Wild Life.  [ Update, 12:08 p.m. Wednesday : At least two of the signs have been removed since Tuesday, one near City Hall and one near the LAPD headquarters.]
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
On this warm Easter Sunday morning, New York street artist Jason Shelowitz (a.k.a. Jay Shells) is on the streets of Inglewood. He pulls over his rented silver Chevy at the bustling intersection of Imperial Highway and Western Avenue, hip-hop prattling on the car stereo. Then he grabs a step ladder from the back seat, adjusts his black “Rap” baseball cap and races across three lanes on foot. Now on the traffic island, cars whizzing by on both sides, he eyeballs a pole sporting a “One Way” street sign.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2013 | By Jamie Wetherbe
The street artist known as the “Russian Banksy,” Pasha P183, has been found dead in Moscow, according to reports. He was 29. Teatralnoye Delo theatrical production company, which had commissioned the artist to create a mural for its production "Todd,” said he died Monday, the Associated Press reported. Teatralnoye Delo did not release further information. PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times Pasha P183 was known for leaving artistic installations and politically fueled murals across Moscow, including riot police painted on subway doors and a masked protester holding a flare that caught fire.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By Steve Appleford
Barely three months after their release from Russian prison, Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova sit outside a Santa Monica hotel, smoking cigarettes, insisting that their group Pussy Riot is not a band. "People sometimes think we are a musical group and think we can do a performance," Tolokonnikova, 24, says with a smile, leaning forward. Alekhina, 25, nods between drags, and adds, "But it's not true. We're another thing. " Still, the noise from a notorious one-song performance of "A Punk Prayer" inside Moscow's Orthodox Christian cathedral in 2012 was potent and outrageous enough to land the pair a nearly two-year prison stay in the Gulag for what prosecutors called "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 2011 | By Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times
Heading into Sunday's Academy Awards, "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is undoubtedly the most buzzed-about film in the documentary feature category. But the uncomfortable question persists: Is it real? The movie is anchored by two of the least reliable narrators in memory: Banksy, the anonymous British street artist; and Thierry Guetta, an eccentric French émigré to Los Angeles whose obsessive filming happens to capture the world of high-concept graffiti. In alternating interviews, the two recount the rise of anti-establishment vandals into the upper echelons of the art world, where their work quickly became commodified.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 4, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
When Hollywood and street artists try to work together, the road can be bumpy. To promote the upcoming movie "Fruitvale Station," about the 2009 fatal shooting of Oakland's Oscar Grant, the Weinstein Co. commissioned three murals in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco to be painted by well-known street artists Ron English, Lydia Emily and LNY. But logistical issues and creative conflicts between some of the artists and the studio have led...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 1993
Fans of a homeless man who creates hand-painted greeting cards next to a Downtown Los Angeles sidewalk have begun marketing his works in hopes of finding him shelter before winter arrives in full force. Self-taught artist Harry Warren, 54, paints the cards at a makeshift table he sets up at the entrance to a Hill Street garage south of the Los Angeles County Hall of Records. He sleeps nearby in a bedroll each night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2001 | BOB POOL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
He calls himself "the world's fastest painter." So no wonder Adam Geld didn't waste any time when police painted him into a corner in Hollywood. Geld was whipping out one of his finished-in-four-minutes acrylic scenes when Los Angeles police officers made their own scene--arresting him for blocking the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk and handcuffing him on the spot. Run-ins with police had been common for Geld.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 18, 2010 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
Shepard Fairey enjoys reaching out to people whose work he admires. When he also forms a personal bond with the person he has approached, he says it feels like "things in the universe are in their correct place. " Which is why the rebellious street artist who skyrocketed to international fame in 2008 with his ubiquitous Obama "Hope" poster is particularly tickled about his budding friendship with actor/comedian/provocateur Russell Brand. Fairey traffics in the iconography of fame, and Brand, in his just-released memoir "Booky Wook 2," is obsessed with fame's machinations and implications.
NEWS
January 18, 2007 | Cynthia Dea, Times Staff Writer
YOU'VE probably never met Shepard Fairey, but chances are you've seen his face on the street more than once. Not his own visage, of course, but that of pro wrestler turned Hollywood actor Andre the Giant, with the word "obey" emblazoned underneath, on posters and stickers Fairey has rendered in red, black and white.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By David Ng
They are both outspoken artist-activists who have gotten into trouble with the law in their respective countries. Shepard Fairey, the popular Los Angeles street artist, has created a tribute to Ai Weiwei in the form of a new portrait of the Chinese artist done in Fairey's signature style. The poster depicts Ai in profile using deep red and other dark tones. The portrait also depicts Ai with his head partially shaven and sporting a prominent gash on his scalp. The scar is a reference to the head injury that Ai said he sustained in a confrontation with Chinese police in Chengdu in 2010.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2014 | By Hugh Hart
Growing up in a working-class London suburb beset by dull classes and endless winters, Dean Stockton often escaped into a dream vision of California fueled in equal measure by "Back to the Future" and the skateboard bible Thrasher magazine. "When I was 12 or 13," he recalls, "I watched this guy in 'Back to the Future' holding onto the back of a car skateboarding down beautiful-looking streets in the sunshine and I was like: 'That's where I need to be!'" Decades later, Stockton, who signs his work as "D*Face," finally made it to Southern California, bringing with him a cheeky anything-is-fair-game aesthetic.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2014 | By David Ng
Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey and New York art titan Jasper Johns come from different sides of the country and the contemporary art world, but they are similar in at least one respect: They both hail from South Carolina. The artists will be the subject of a retrospective starting in May in Fairey's hometown of Charleston coinciding with the 2014 Spoleto Festival. The exhibition, "The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns," will feature new work by Fairey and a survey of prints by Johns from 1982 to 2012.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
Banksy has proved bankable in Beverly Hills. The mysterious British street artist's "Flower Girl" mural, which he stenciled onto the wall of a Los Angeles gas station in 2008, was sold for $209,000 Thursday evening at Julien's Auctions, where it was the highlight of a sale of nearly 100 works by 33 street artists. The gavel price was $170,000 for the 9-by-8-foot, nearly 4-ton rectangular slab of white brick with black spray paint. The mural, which came with a customary additional "buyer's premium" to yield the final total, shows a little girl holding a flower basket under the eye of a surveillance camera planted atop a tall, leafy stalk.  PHOTOS: Art by Banksy With about 150 people gathered in the auction room, bids rolled in by phone and online.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 31, 2013 | By David Ng
Banksy officially bade farewell to New York on Thursday after spending the month of October in the city creating random street art at public sites in all five boroughs. The anonymous British artist posted a message on his official website Thursday: "And that's it. Thanks for your patience. It's been fun. Save 5pointz. Bye. " The artist's mention of "5pointz" refers to the street-art and graffiti exhibition space in Long Island City that has been threatened with demolition. Banksy's most recent purported creation in New York is an inflatable throw-up piece spelling out "Banksy!"
ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 2013 | By David Ng
Banksy has a new calling: architecture critic. The British street artist, who has taken up a residency in New York for the month of October, has criticized the One World Trade Center building as "vanilla" in an op-ed piece that the artist claims was rejected by the New York Times. The article, titled "Shyscraper," was published Monday on the artist's official website. "Today's piece was going to be an op-ed column in the New York Times," wrote Banksy. "But they declined to publish what I supplied.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2012 | Nita Lelyveld, Los Angeles Times
Four straight rows of four palm trees each stand on the northeast corner of 2nd and Spring streets downtown - a block from Los Angeles City Hall, right alongside LAPD headquarters. They're directly across from the newsroom. I stare out at them from my desk. Lately they have come to look like hourglasses running out of time. Small tufts of green fronds reach to the sky. Ample brown ones drag down toward the dirt. Will the dead fronds ever be trimmed? Would it make a difference?
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 2012 | By David Ng, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey received a sentence of two years' probation and a $25,000 fine in the criminal contempt case involving his "Hope" poster of Barack Obama. Fairey admitted in 2009 that he destroyed documents and submitted false images in his legal battle with the Associated Press over the use of a 2006 AP photo of Obama as inspiration for the poster. The AP accused the artist of copyright infringement; Fairey maintained that his artwork fell under fair-use laws.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
Banksy has been stirring up a rapid-fire news cycle the past two days - even more so than usual. First, there were the (untrue) reports that his month-long New York show, “Better Out Than In,” would be coming to Los Angeles soon - it is not. Then Thursday morning, there was the confirmation that the website that went up a day earlier - which looks exactly like his own website promoting the New York show - was fake; a prank, most...
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
"Better LA Than NYC" Those words went up on Wednesday afternoon on a new, L.A.-dedicated website that looks like a spinoff of the Banksy website documenting the British street artist's monthlong “residency” in New York. Of course, like the fake Banksy Twitter account now followed by more than 36,000 people, this too could be a prank. Banksy's New York sojourn, “Better Out Than In,” is currently stalled “due to police activity,” his website said Wednesday morning.
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