New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles – it has been a whirlwind tour of big city writers’ conferences for me the past half year. Nothing like the dense urbanity of SF and NYC; nothing like the unfathomable vastness of LA. And nothing tops urban art.
Los Angeles was first up, where my best friend in the world has resided on or near the Wilshire Corridor for more than fifteen years. He has finally married and acted and restaurant hustled his way to the semi-fancy Hancock Park neighborhood. First night back in the city where I set the majority of my first book, while he worked, I wandered my old path of La Brea toward Wilshire. Was heading to see my American Indian pal, Wolf, still in the old apartment building.
I always enjoyed the area on previous trips but what struck me as uniquely changed was an influx of hot art, as example the street art gallery on La Brea known as Lab Art. “That didn’t take long,” I said to myself as I was immersed in the scene less than a half hour after hitting the streets. Of course, an opening was happening. Doors always open for me in California.
Free drinks and snacks and the overly fashioned nodding as the music was booming and the conversation flowing freely, the pretty people preening because this is LA.
becca is an all lowercase Austin artist with a big sense of feminine style, the ladies she paints so pretty it’s practically perfect. While her longtime collaborator Philip Lumbang, a former art assistant to the great Shepard Fairey, paints his signature Awesome Bears everywhere. His motto is, “Keep it simple.”
They initially met online, and their process is this: becca paints her sophisticated ladies, leaving room for the Los Angeles-based Lumbang to insert Awesome Bear, who appears as a fun interloper in the pieces.
Copro Gallery in Santa Monica has a current show of their collaborations, and Lumbang is fresh off a solo show in NYC. Their work together is, well, awesome.