May 31, 2018 by: Ben Heimsath

We expect street artists to highlight their newest or cutting edge images to grab our attention. During a recent trip to Los Angeles, however, I was drawn to this street art for the opposite reason. Driving down Hillhust Avenue in Los Feliz, what I saw was instantly familiar and recognizable - a Shepherd Fairy classic, “Make Art, Not War.”Classic Street Art in Los Feliz

Shepard Fairey is one of the artists who have elevated street art to a serious cultural phenomenon. He often reuses iconic images in new compositions similar to the way advertisers use images for branding. I recently noted some of his signature characters in Austin street art.

However, this piece wasn’t the reuse of a character or graphic. This new street art was the entire piece of art repeated - a recognizable classic! This particular composition has been around for a while. Anyone can go to the artist’s website and purchase it as a print.

It is possible someone felt compelled to buy a print and paste it out on the street, but I seriously doubt it. The artist lives in this area of Los Angeles so I’m certain the placement here is purposeful. It occurs to me that the very reason I stopped to notice is the artist’s likely intent. Once again, taking a cue from advertising, the familiar image of a classic can sometimes be more noticeable than a string of new originals.

 Make Art Not War in Shepard Fairey Neighborhood

This installation was located at the corner of Hillhurst and Ambrose Ave in the Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles.