I’ve had a story about teenage graffiti artists who are actually magicians spraying ideas on the inside of my skull for years, but I’ve never found time to write the book
But because of this nagging idea, I took pictures of graffiti and street art whenever I came across them, to incorporate into the book one day. There’s amazing work in the most unexpected locations; witty, intricate, beautiful and disturbing.
The images below are from Downtown Los Angeles. I’d gone running from my hotel early in the morning, picking directions at random. It was cold and very foggy and didn’t feel like LA. More like a ghostly nowheresville.
I spotted the graffiti on the side of several derelict stores fronted by drifts of detritus and cardboard boxes and started snapping with my phone. I was still listening to music, so I didn’t hear the boxes move.
A dark shape in the corner of my eye alerted me. Shadows emerging from every direction. Rising from the ground. Clambering from boxes. A bottle rolling across the road. Something banging into metal shutters setting them rattling. Further down the street, I could see more dark shapes; smudges in the fog, charcoal ghosts.
Spooked, your intrepid graffiti journalist took off at speed, retracing his route back towards the hotel, glancing over his shoulder. What he was escaping wasn’t a scene from The Walking Dead, but something much worse. Groups of the desperate homeless, swaddled in layers of clothes, faces covered by balaclavas and scarves, trying to keep warm. They’d been woken from their slender slumber by some bloke from England, now sprinting back to his hotel for a hot shower, central heating and a big breakfast over which he could recount the whole encounter for the entertainment of others.
My Pinterest graffiti/street art board