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Street Art Alive

  • Art, Street art
  • THE LUME Los Angeles, South LA
  1. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  2. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  3. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  4. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  5. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  6. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  7. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  8. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  9. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
  10. Street Art Alive
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano
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Time Out says

Street art splashes to life all over the floor and walls of this DTLA show, an admirable (but still very expensive) take on “immersive” art exhibits.

Yes, it’s another one of those immersive art shows, but unlike plastering an impressionist’s face on a screen, this room-filling one of wall-based works actually kind of makes sense. Street Art Alive brings together projections of photographs and animated recreations of murals from more than 200 street artists around the globe, including D*Face, Lady Pink, Blek le Rat and more.

Compared to the other “immersive” shows around town, it’s considerably more interesting, slightly more visually busy and just as expensive. Street Art Alive strings together a loose story of how the medium has shaped the world, starting with the rise of graffiti culture in New York in the 1970s and the fall of the Berlin Wall in ’89. From there, the exhibit spotlights street art’s spread through cities around the globe and makes a case for the impact of four major themes: to rejuvenate areas that’ve seen better days, to bring vibrancy to streetscapes, to provide a platform for political statements and to deliver a fresh take on local traditions.

Like the murals it celebrates, there’s a lot going on in Street Art Alive, visually speaking. That means there’s always something colorful to catch your eye on the floor and walls throughout the 40-minute loop; sometimes it’s still-photo documents of painted walls around the world, other times it’s dynamic, digital translations of artists’ work that swipe and swirl around the venue. And it’s all propelled by a blaring but top-notch soundtrack that features David Bowie, Can, Portishead, the Avalanches, M.I.A. and more.

You’ll spot a few helpful text-filled panels around the space that let you know which artist’s work you’re currently looking at—though finding that text before it fades away can sometimes be a challenge (you can find a full list of artists broken down by city near the exit). The educational aspect is admirable, but it’s just hard to keep up: The constant movement on the surrounding screens is always vying for your attention, and the little bit of motion sickness you might get from the scrolling floor graphics doesn’t help either (there are thankfully plenty of places to sit, as well as a much-appreciated setup of screens toward the back that play out sans floor projections).

Not everything in Street Art Alive is digital: There’s a pair of site-specific, directly-on-the-wall murals from Dourone and Timbuctu State, a recreation of a graffitied train and tunnel, as well as eight salvaged sections of the Berlin Wall outside. Oh, and there’s pizza: pan-style pies from PI L.A., the latest project from the team behind Fred 62.

Though we found it compelling (especially compared to the rest of the cottage industry of “immersive” shows), it’s hard to get around just how expensive it is: With tickets starting around $40 plus the price of parking, that’s about double even L.A.’s most expensive museums (though, unlike the Van Gogh shows, you won’t find any of these pieces in their collections). 

Street Art Alive marks the first collaboration between Australia’s Grande Experiences and L.A.’s Magic Box, who are referring to this new digital gallery as the LUME Los Angeles (though you may know it better as the large event space at DTLA’s the Reef).

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano

Details

Address:
THE LUME Los Angeles
1933 S Broadway
Los Angeles
90007
Price:
$39–$49, VIP $79–$99

Dates and times

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