Where graffiti is celebrated, and punished

Ben Stubbs explores LA, where graffiti art is celebrated – but can still land you in jail if you pick the wrong wall.

“Ben waz ere 89”

Little did I know that this was my first foray into the world of graffiti art – etched on the underside of my desk in year 3.

Whether it is a 15-metre mural, a clandestine tag on the side of a train or a proposition on a toilet cubicle door, graffiti is a broad and contentious form of art and self-expression that often says as much about the artist as it does about the subject.

I am in Los Angeles to understand a little more about the importance of graffiti to the city.

Along with its skate and surf culture, Santa Monica is now famous for its boardwalk that stretches from the pier to Venice Beach and beyond. I’m with Street Craft LA founders Emmet Ashford-Trotter and Jonathan Mooney and local street artist Bobby Rodriguez.


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