Los Angeles, California – The graffiti scene in downtown Los Angeles has sprung back to life with the emergence of eye-catching art covering the abandoned Oceanwide Plaza development. This $1 billion project was left unfinished in 2019, but the graffiti covering dozens of floors has turned it into a symbol of urban blight and foreign investment, sparking debates about whether graffiti is art or vandalism.
For the graffiti artists involved, this “bombing,” as it’s known in the graffiti world, represents more than just a stunt or a crime. It has become a historic moment, taking the art form to new heights, quite literally. The painted skyscrapers have become a landmark in the city, signifying a significant cultural milestone for the artists involved.
One of the graffiti artists, who goes by the name Actual, described the challenge of gaining access to the complex and climbing to the 36th floor to paint. Despite the physical and legal risks, he saw it as an opportunity to be part of something significant and to leave his mark on the city.
The graffiti work has drawn mixed reactions, with some celebrating it as a powerful commentary on urban development and the shaping of the city, while others, including the Central City Association of Los Angeles, have condemned it as vandalism. The Los Angeles Police Department has already arrested four suspects and is investigating numerous crimes related to the graffiti.
The emergence of this graffiti art is a result of a series of factors, including the financial troubles that led to the abandonment of the plaza, creating a unique opportunity for artists to transform the towering skyscrapers into their canvas. The reaction from residents and experts has been divided, with some seeing it as a nuisance, while others consider it a work of art that reflects the energy and creativity of the city.
Despite the legal and ethical debates surrounding the graffiti, the bold and vibrant artwork has captured the imagination of the city. It has reinvigorated the graffiti scene and sparked conversations about the power of public art in reclaiming urban spaces. As the debate continues, the graffiti at Oceanwide Plaza stands as a reminder of the complex relationship between art, urban development, and public space.