By: Shauna Murray
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If you’re looking for creative inspiration, you need to look no further than the streets of Los Angeles. Thousands of murals adorn the outer walls of buildings from the beach to the East Side, and they’re as much a part of the landscape as the Pacific Ocean and Hollywood Hills. The artwork both reflects and colors life in Los Angeles and is a great source of pride for the city. Los Angeles is a cultural melting pot and its murals are as diverse as the people who live here.
While it’s nearly impossible to narrow down the ever-changing roster of murals from thousands to a handful, here’s a round-up of some of the most popular, beautiful, and downright weird works of art you’ll find around the city. Chances are if you make your way to any one of these works, you’ll find yourself around the corner from many more.
Without further delay, here’s a list of the best murals in Los Angeles!
Artist Colette Miller created the Global Angel Wings Project in 2012 “to remind humanity that we are the angels of this Earth”. These human-sized are designed to be interactive – people can pose for photos in front of the wings and become part of the art. The Global Angel Wings Project has truly gone global, with wings on almost every continent but they started right here in the city of angels.
Where to find it: One set of wings can be found at 8401 W 3rd St, Los Angeles 90048, another at 453 Colyton Street, and there are more throughout the city. Search for more locations by using #globalangelwings on Instagram.
Venice Beach has long been known as an enclave for artists, and even with recent changes to the neighborhood, art remains a prominent feature. The crown jewel of Westside murals is Abbott Kinney Boulevard, a mile-long stretch of retail, restaurants, murals, murals, and more murals. “Bleeding Hearts” aka #LOVEWALL by James Goldcrown (@jgoldcrown) is one of the most popular places to visit–and photograph– on Abbott Kinney.
Where to find it: Greenleaf, 1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, 90291
“Morning Shot” is the 35-foot-tall mural of Doors front man, Jim Morrison, created by artist Rip Cronk in 1991 and revamped in 2012. From the side wall of an apartment building, Morrison towers over the Venice Beach boardwalk; a fitting place for this larger-than-life figure as The Doors met and started the band in Venice in 1965.
Where to find it: 1811 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
Arguably the most psychedelic mural in town, “Technicolor Ooze” is the work of artist Jen Stark. She’s since brought her Technicolor magic to collaborations with Miley Cyrus and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.
Where to find it: 8850 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
West Hollywood is a community known for its vibrancy and freedom of expression, and its public library is no exception. The parking structure of the West Hollywood Library is home to three of the most recognizable murals in the city: “Peace Elephant” by Shepard Fairey, “An exercise in spontaneity” by Kenny Scharf, and a striking blue and white abstract design by L.A. artist RETNA.
Where to find it: 625 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, 90069
The L.A. Arts District truly lives up to its name with more than 100 murals covering the walls and sides of buildings in the neighborhood. One of the most striking works can be found at the intersection of 4th Street and Merrick. The collaboration between Christina Angelina (@starfightera) and Fanakapan. (@fanakapan) will give you allll the feels.
Where to find it: Arts District, Downtown L.A. @ 4th Street and Merrick, LA 90012
Some murals have a lifespan of only a year or two (or less) before they’re painted over and replaced. Some, on the other hand, have become semi-permanent fixtures in the city. “The Pope of Broadway” is one such classic. Originally created in 1985 by muralist Eloy Torrez, who also worked with the city to restore it in 2017, the 70-foot mural depicts Mexican-born actor Anthony Quinn, celebrating two of L.A.’s biggest cultural influences: the film industry and the Latino community.
Where to find it: The Victor Clothing Company Building, 242 S. Broadway, Los Angeles 90012
Jules Muck, the “Queen of Venice Beach,” is among the most well-known street art and mural painters around. Her works can be seen all over Venice; on its walls, garage doors, vans and even discarded appliances. Perhaps her most famous work is “Freedumb”— a green-tinged mural depicting five legends of the stage and screen who died before their time.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the “Day in L.A.” mural. The mural was painted in 2017 by artist Dim Morisov at the A Day in L.A. Tours headquarters in Santa Monica. “If Los Angeles was an amusement park, this map would show you where all the rides are,” Morisov says. He somehow managed to fit all of Los Angeles on the sidewall of A Day in LA’s HQ so you can take a tour of the entire city and its key points of interest without ever taking the tour!
Where to find it: 410 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401