Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti; it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.
WRDSMTH is a published author, screenwriter, former advertising copywriter, and an emerging street artist. Born and raised in the Midwest, he relocated to LA and started doing time in Hollywood, chasing the dream like countless others. Past and present worlds merged when he came up with the concept for WRDSMTH — a unique combination of stenciling and wheatpasting — and began temporarily tattooing walls in LA with indelible thoughts and phrases. Active in the street art community since November 2013, he’s made his mark in Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia, London, Paris, Edinburgh, and Melbourne. He’s been featured in Playboy, LA Weekly, LAist, LA Magazine, and The Philadelphia Enquirer. He was named one of The Art of Elsyum’s 2014 Emerging Artists and his work has been sold at Julien’s Auctions, Q Art Gallery, The Gabba Gallery, Stone Malone Gallery, and LabArt. [http://wrdsmth.org/]
MEAR ONE (Kalen Ockerman) has been at the forefront of LA’s graffiti and mural culture for nearly three decades. He is famous for having pioneered the Melrose graffiti art movement in the late 80s and is considered by many to be LA’s most prolific public muralist. Early on in his career, MEAR gained his recognition for building the bridge between graffiti art and fine art. He was the first graffiti artist to exhibit at the infamous 01 Gallery on Melrose, as well as at 33 1/3 Gallery in Silverlake, where Banksy would later debut his first North American show. MEAR ONE’s work was part of the landmark Art in the Streets 2011 exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. He is perhaps best known for constructing powerful narratives juxtaposing philosophy, ancient mythology and modern politics to inspire an evolved conscious. This interpretation of reality is achieved through balanced dialogue between realism and the supernatural. MEAR ONE helps us envision the sublime spirit of our time – not by escaping reality, but by confronting it head on.