Hints of them are creeping around corners, lurking between alleyways while beautifying the backside of buildings, casually creating a sensation while transforming the world. Some adorn the sides of old train cars or the underside of bridges, and others are more purposely placed, adding character to the communities around them with technicolor trickery and awe inspiring art work.
At this point, I have a pretty long list of my favorite things about Los Angeles – but the art here is definitely one of them. This city is literally swimming in a sea of immensely talented artists that use a multitude of mediums, from lights to sculpture, mixed media, dance, theater and more but I’ve realized in the last five years that by in large when it comes to the types of art I truly enjoy – I have hearts for eyes for architecture and Graffiti. The creativity within the community bubbles over effervescently, adorning buildings in a similar tone to the hieroglyphs to ancient Egyptians, with a menagerie of talented artists with unique styles, focusing on spirituality, humanism, perspective and mountains of wisdom.
Back when I lived over in the Miracle Mile and Fairfax District, I was what I’d consider artistically spoiled: the alleyways behind the sorted shops all along Melrose and the Fame Yard sponsored by SportieLA boasted a bevvy of newly commissioned artwork, and I loved the juxtaposition of high end retail (well, let’s be honest…Melrose is pretty much every type of Retail) against a rich cacophony of freshly painted art. The art scene was so big over there that you would see paintings that honestly looked like those huge plastered billboards on the wall across from Fairfax High School (/ and the Melrose Trading Post); but once you got up close and incredibly personal with the wall, you’d see the intricate details in their labor of love and realize how much raw talent went into it’s creation.
This past weekend with Daylight Savings Time rearing it’s incredibly stupid head, Danny and I took it upon ourselves to get into the mood by diving into one of my favorite seasonal rituals, Spring Cleaning. We went through each and every nook and crany of our apartment, and ended up donated or throwing away roughly 30% of what was in our closets! On our way back from a quick jaunt to Koreatown, we realized we were right by The Gabba Gallery, which has been this proverbial, mythical creature of an art gallery to me.
Curated in tandem by gallery owner Jason Ostro and gallery manager Elena Jacobson, The Gabba Gallery plays host to talented local, national and internationally respected contemporary artists, honing in on the modernization of art through photography, sculpture, collage, mixed media, fine art, street art and design. You never know what you’re going to find at The Gabba Gallery, especially when you don’t even know it’s hours. Right. As it turns out, the venue opens for showings but doesn’t keep normal “9-5” hours every day of the week. After a bit of research, it looks like the Gallery is open either by appointment or by exhibit opening; so, there’s that. The good news, is that right around the corner was an awe inspiring amount of art to explore in the freshly painted offshoot of The Gabba Gallery – Animal Alley!
Adorning the alleyways in Echo Park between Beverly, N Vendome and N Dillon St, Animal Alley is a collaborative public art installation that contains upwards of 80 murals by over 50 different artists. The project has been underway since April of 2015 and finally came to completion this past December, featuring a wide variety of animal inspired artwork around each and every corner.
For more on The Gabba Gallery, head to their socials:
If you’d like to head straight to Animal Alley: