Graffiti is often seen as a subversive art form, conjuring words like vandalism and crime, and yet street art continues to evolve and re-brand itself. Many street artists like Shephard Fairey, Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, and Os Gemeos have enjoyed celebrity status as street artists who have penetrated the high-end art world. They enjoy solo shows, lucrative collaborations with brands, and regularly get high profile commissions. While everyone has their own opinion about transitioning "low" art to "high," I personally love that the unique aesthetic of street art continues to garner attention and recognition.
While books are meant to be read, art is meant to be seen, and graffiti art plays up this role in the most direct of senses. Whether as subtle tagging on a highway bridge, or boldly taking up the entire side of a building like the Bowery Wall in Manhattan, the enjoyment of street art is meant for the public.
If you've driven around West Hollywood, you might've seen this graffiti by Retna. Retna's signature look is an iconic script which he has developed from different influences such as hieroglyphics, Arabic calligraphy, Hebrew, and Blackletter. The meaning of his unique script is only known to him and a very small circle, but the enjoyment of his work is universal. If you haven't seen his work, definitely make a trip out to West Hollywood to see it. While you're at it, check out Gracias Madre and Verve Coffee, a couple of my favorite spots within walking distance.
I chose this monochrome outfit in anticipation of shooting in front of this mural. I enjoy how the black and white stripes of my crop top seem to play off of the lines in his calligraphy. Minimalist outfits are so chic and easy, and wearing a wide-brimmed hat really elevates the whole look. I know that my MC Hammer-esque harem pants are definitely not a common silhouette, but unexpected silhouettes are a good thing. One tip for harem pants or culottes is choosing a more fitted top (tucked in), or a crop top to help define the figure. I hope this helps you explore new outfits! Also, do you have any favorite graffiti spots in your hometown? Let me know in the comments below!
"I want my text to feel universal. I want people from different cultures to all find some similarity in it - whether they can read it or not."
Striped Crop Top: Kinsley
Harem Pants: Gifted
Quilted Ballerina Flats: Zara
Watch: Vintage Omega
Styling: Annie Cho
Photography: Grace Cho
Craig's (8826 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles)