Street Art Alive splashed colorful, digital murals within the Los Angeles art space

You’re probably a little wary of all the “immersive” art shows that have spread through Los Angeles, and that’s what the organizers of “Street Art Alive” feel.

“We come from the world of art and I see them every time [immersive shows], it’s those commercial stuff, ”says Wayne Fernandez, CEO of Magic Box LA, an event space at Downtown’s the Reef. “You get there and like, I feel like my soul is being sucked out of me. But you know, we were very careful that this was more than that. “

On paper, “Street Art Alive” might sound like another one they (and with a similar price), but the new projection-based exhibition surpasses your average Van Gogh-like exhibition. For starters, it focuses on a medium that naturally fits to rise (or in many cases shrink) to the size of a wall and features a range of street artists, including D * Face, Lady Pink, Black Le Rat, Fin DAC and about 200 others — all involved with the permission of the artists themselves. He also develops a proper narrative about the medium, with artistic merit and historical trifles woven into the projections and a row of posters near the exit. And as Fernandez says, the use of projection technology, which is divided into different screen and column sizes, and the clarity of moving images on the floor is simply superior to other shows.

Visitors will be able to see for themselves when “Street Art Alive” debuts on April 22 as the first exhibition to take over LUME Los Angeles, a permanent digital exhibition space on the ground floor of the Reef. It arrives downtown thanks to a collaboration between Magic Box LA and Grande Experiences, an Australian company responsible for touring stable immersive performances (including, yes, Van Gogh).

Living street art
Photo: Time Out / Michael Juliano

Street Art Alive divides its 40-minute video loop into four themes that talk about how street art has pushed the world forward: how rejuvenated areas have experienced better days, brought vibrancy to street landscapes, provided a platform for political statements and a fresh look to local traditions. It begins roughly chronologically, with an introduction to the graffiti scene in New York in the 1970s and the art that covered the Berlin Wall in the 1980s before expanding to more recent events in cities like London, São Paulo and Melbourne.

Los Angeles, of course, also appears at the show, but only briefly. “You’ll notice that this show is really about international art,” says event director Paul Bonet. “We’re not trying to bring LA art into the show because we want people to get out of here and see what’s in the community.”

Living street art
Photo: Time Out / Michael Juliano

For a contemporary show that stretches across a country like this, the compilation process is much more involved than extracting some public images of the long-dead Impressionist. For starters, the team traveled to 20 different cities and photographed their favorite pieces of street art from each. Then they had to ask permission from every artist – most were excited to participate, but there were a few who “wanted to keep it on the street, they wanted it to be fleeting,” Fernandez says. If the team decided to translate the mural into digital animation (as opposed to a static image that simply documents the work), it required another round of approval. When it all got out of the way, there was an actual compilation of the show (it has changed about three times since it was first installed) and a merger with the soundtrack.

The analog component is also quite significant in the show. For starters, you’ll pass by eight sections of the 4 x 14-foot Berlin Wall located near the entrance to the building and covered by orders from local street artists (since they were set on the outskirts of Berlin, parts of the wall were almost as graffiti as their central neighbors) . Four-ton boards were purchased in Australia, from all places, and then shipped across the ocean – although when we visited LUME for an early inspection, they were still stuck somewhere in the port of LA

Living street art
Photo: Time Out / Michael Juliano

When you enter, you will be greeted by geometric graphics made entirely of ribbon by artist Darel Carey. He then goes to the artificial train station that channels Brooklyn from the 1980s thanks to the art of Woes Martin and the recreation of London’s Leake Street tunnel painted with graffiti with wheat pastes from AB ₵ NT. On the other side of the digital gallery space, you’ll find a pair of website-specific murals directly on the wall: one by Aly Kouroume reflecting missing and murdered indigenous women, and colorful portraits and depictions of Dourone sneakers. Although not yet completed during our early review, there is also a wall with black and white lines from Yoshi inviting visitors to leave their own colorful trail with a piece of chalk.

Late-night events, poetry slams and DJ sets within the Street Art Alive are planned. When the show is finally over, LUME will move on to those about Dalí and Picasso — which, yes, sure sounds like they other impressive shows, but hopefully they’ll tackle them with a “Street Art Alive” touch.

Street Art Alive opens April 22 in LUME Los Angeles (1933 S Broadway). Tickets start at $ 39 for adults. Advance reservations are available on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 noon to 7:30 pm, Fridays from 12 noon to 9 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 9 pm.

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