The California Dreaming Wall
Artist: Ricardo Gonzales
Get your (Google) maps and iPhones ready people, we’re goin’ on an Instadventure (Instagram + adventure)! It’s no secret that the city of Los Angeles is teeming with some of the world’s most incredible works of street art, and when you think about it, it totally makes sense that the city has become such a draw for so many street artists: in a city as large as LA, surfaces in need of beautification are almost limitless – whether officially commissioned from a renowned artist, or thrown up in the middle of the night, guerilla graffiti artist style. From large scale murals the size of a building, to pieces as small as matchbox in a tiny nook, LA street art as a whole has played an integral role in giving life and beauty to the city’s urban landscape.
But, here’s the deal: as you may have noticed, it can be difficult to track down the murals you see on IG IRL! The hunt is so real that group art tours and private art tours alike have sprung up. While those are fantastic resources, I know we may not all have the means to utilize them, or may prefer the self-guided tour route. I’m all about a good share – I’m here to help you get that gorgeous, only-in-LA Instagram (or Facebook or Twitter – you do you) content you need!
A DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO INSTA-WORTHY STREET ART IN LA
Whether you’re just looking to check the pieces out in real life or you’re on the hunt for the perfect backdrop for an epic photo, I’ve got the scoop on where to find the most Instagram-worthy Los Angeles murals.
Ladies and gents, without further ado: behold THE definitive, Love & Loathing LA guide to the best large scale wall art in Los Angeles!
You Are Going to Be Fine Mural
Downtown Los Angeles is a great spot to hit if you’re looking for great street art – in particular, I recommend hitting Row DTLA, which has several amazing wall murals. You’ll feel a sense of calm wash over you the second you see this gem, located at Row DTLA. The message we all need right now, amIright?
Artist: Leta Sobierajski
The Dots Cafe Honeycomb Mural
Okay, technically this mural is located in LA’s very near neighbor, Pasadena. The whole mural is gorgeous, and bonus – if you’re looking for the perfect pastel photo backdrop, this is it!
Artist: Geoff Gouveia
Location: Dots Cafe, 3819 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 91107 (alley behind the building)
The Faces Mural
Another Row DTLA gem! This minimalist mural by LA-based artist Carly Kuhn, also known as The Cartorialist, is one of my faves.
Artist: Carly Kuhn aka The Cartorialist
The Love Wall
I know you’ve seen Curtis Kulig’s ultra-famous Love Wall all over the ‘gram! Painted on the exterior of Smashbox Studios’ Culver City location, its vibrant red hue makes it a gorgeous photo backdrop (and has served as one to many an engagement photoshoot, I’m sure!).
Artist: Curtis Kulig
Location: 8538 Hayden Ave., Culver City 90232
The Elliott Smith Figure 8 Wall
That’s right – the east side has street art too. Best known for its feature on Elliott Smith’s Figure 8 album cover, this mural became a huge draw for music fans – but, it saw some shifts in recent years when a bar moved in and took over some of its prime real estate. That said, they – and Ma’am Sir, the restaurant that later took over the space, did their best to pay homage to the original mural, and it still serves as a testament to Silver Lake’s roots… albeit, slightly disfigured.
RETNA x Lyric Theatre Mural
I’m sure you recognize the work of LA native and renowned street artist, RETNA! Commissioned by one of LA’s most famous theaters, The Lyric Theatre, this black and gold mural is a stunner.
Location: 520 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Hauser & Wirth Public Garden Graffiti Mural
When Hauser & Wirth took over a former, long-abandoned flour mill, they opted to keep much of the graffiti that was already in place, and commissioned artist Kim West to complete this wall as a full mural. Located in the public garden space, it’s my favorite section of this amazing building. Bonus? It’s located on East 3rd Street, where you can easily stroll for a self guided street art tour!
Artist: Kim West (and various unknown graffiti artists)
PHOTO: @STARFIGHTERA / INSTAGRAM
The Street of Love Mural
We stan a female street artist! All hail Christina Angelina, aka Starfighter, whose gorgeous work can be found all over the city of LA. This one, “4th Street,” created in collaboration with Fanakapan, is located in the Los Angeles Art District – an area absolutely teeming with some of the best murals this city has to offer!
Artist: Christina Angelina and Fanakapan
If you’re an Angeleno, it’s likely you’ve seen UK street artist D*Face’s distinct wall art over town (more to come on that). I’m always thrilled to stumble upon his ultra-vibrant, pop art-inspired street art – in particular, Rear View (originally created in 2014).
PHOTO: ANGEL CITY BREWERY
The Global Angel Wings Project Mural
I mean, guys, it couldn’t be an LA street art roundup without angel wings, could it? I had to include the wings that started it all: Colette Miller’s mural at LA Arts District’s Angel City Brewery. One of the first to commission such a piece, Colette’s wings can now be found all over the globe.
Artist: Colette Miller
Hot Tip: There are SEVERAL “Angel Wings” around Los Angeles – UCLA Extension, Melrose Ave, Regent Theater, Arts District, Beverly Grove
The Rock Paper Scissor Mural
One of the first buildings in Santa Monica to commission street artists to beautify its exterior in the 80s, when its current tenants moved in, they noticed that the paint needed a refresh. In order to give the original artist, Risk, his proper due, they reached out to him for an all-new mural. The result? A super vibrant, large scale work of art that became a collaborative effort between multiple graffiti artists.
Artist: Risk + the help of a few friends including OG Abel, Nathan Ota, Sel Dog, Sonny Boy, Severe and Vyal
The Venice Twins
You may have become familiar with Jules Muck, better known as Muck Rock, recently when she teamed up with business owners in LA to paint murals over their boarded-up windows in an homage to the Black Lives Matter movement. She’s long been active in the community, and her work can be found all over the city. This particular mural is in an area rife with gorgeous street art, so get ready to fill that camera roll.
Artist: Jules Muck aka Muck Rock
Location: 1301 Electric Avenue, Venice, CA 90291 (just off Abbott Kinney)
PHOTO: @ALLISONKUNATH / INSTAGRAM
Marco Polo Mural
Completed in 2014, Alison Kunath’s Marco Polo mural on the exterior of Marco Polo Imports’ Santa Monica location is a gorgeous, geometric creation rendered in black and white.
Artist: Allison Kunath
PHOTO: @BUMBLEBEELOVESYOU / INSTAGRAM
Bumblebee Loves You x Dunkin Donuts Mural
A native of LA county, Bumblebee Loves You’s art can be found all over town – so if you’re an LA local, the odds are good you’ve spotted some of his work before! If you – like me – are a donut lover, you’ll particularly love this piece commissioned by Dunkin Donuts for their Culver City location.
Artist: Bumblebee Loves You
The Mondrian Wall
Clean, colorful, and the most appropriate mural to be on the outside of an art store!
PHOTO: @SIMPLYYSABB / INSTAGRAM
Homage to a Starry Night Mural
Rip Cronk has been beautifying Venice since the late 70s – and his work with his Homage to a Starry Night (you might recognize this piece from the original by very little-known artist Vincent Van Gogh – heard of him?) is perhaps one of his most beautiful, in my humble opinion. Originally painted in the 90s, Rip updated it with a fresh paint job just last year – may it continue to serve as a gorgeous little ode to ol’ Vincent for many years to come!
Artist: Rip Cronk
PHOTO: @NADIANEO / INSTAGRAM
Kobra x LGBT Youth Center Mural
Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra was commissioned to add a gorgeous mural to Hollywood’s LGBT Youth Center’s exterior – and the result is a gorgeous work of art that draws parallels between the center’s work and other famous humanitarians and civil rights activists’ work including Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr. This mural is, simply put, a stunner.
Location: 1220 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 90038
PHOTO: @DFACE_OFFICIAL / INSTAGRAM
Look Into My Eyes at The Line
I told you we’d be hearing more from D*Face! You might recognize these rad peepers from the exterior of Koreatown’s ultra cool The Line Hotel (located down the side of the hotel, and not from its main entry, to be clear!).
PHOTO: @THEGRAFFITIHUNTER / INSTAGRAM
La Senora de la Muerte Mural
Originally commissioned for FX show “The Bridge” in 2013, I’m so glad this mural by LA-bred artist El Mac has remained for the long haul!
Artist: El Mac
PHOTO: @THEGRAFFITIHUNTER / INSTAGRAM
The Bloc Mural Project x Chris Lux
Located in Downtown LA, this mural by artist Chris Lux’s exuberant color palette is just begging for a rainbow outfit to coordinate for a photo. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
Artist: Chris Lux
Location: The BLOC, 700 South Flower Los Angeles, California 90017 (mural located on 8th)
NOTE: many if not ALL of the artists mentioned here have a number of murals around town, be sure to check in on their social media to see what they might be up to!