Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Street Artists’ Ode to Pop Culture Icons

We’ve been avid followers of street art ever since moving to Los Angeles. The city is rich with renegade imagery plastered on the walls of abandoned buildings and street signs. We’ve spent many an hour stuck in traffic admiring Shepard Fairey’s “Obey” campaign and David Browne’s ever-present berds on telephone wires. 

If you haven’t seen our favorite documentary of the year, Exit Through the Gift Shop, you’ve got to check it out. The story of a filmmaker turned wanna-be artist highlights the works of Parisian artist Space Invader and the illusive Banksy, who directed the flick. It will make you look at your city with brand new, wide-open eyes.

Now Flavorpill has created a collection of photos called 50 Street Art Odes to Pop Culture Icons. The images cover filmmakers like Woody Allen, Jean-Luc Godard, Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino. Musicians span the gap from stencils of Johann Sebastian Bach in Berlin to Erykah Badu in Melbourne to David Bowie in Reykjavík. Political imagery abounds with the likes of JFK, Princess Di and Bill Clinton smirking with the word “pimp” painted under him.

Random celebs range from Gary Coleman and Seinfeld to Pee-wee Herman and Oprah. While movie stars are represented by Bill Murray, Jack Nicolson, Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany's and a ménage a trois of Tom Cruises with the words “hate,” “death” and “fear” stamped on their foreheads. 

Some stars show up more than once. John Lennon sits next to Mick Jagger on a wall in London and cuddles a panda in Brooklyn. No self-respecting pop culture and pop art retrospective would be complete without an image of Andy Warhol. And, of course, the “It Girl” of the new millennium, Betty White, makes a showing with the slang “gilf!” stamped under her face. 
Check out the entire collection at

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