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The Hammer In The Night

September 11, 2013

5150

 

Street Art is somewhat rare in these parts. Sure we have many murals, thanks in large part to the Los Angeles Mural Moritorium rarely being enforced around here. Yes, there is lots and lots of graffiti on every reachable surface in our corner of Los Angeles. Tags, toys, stickers, stencils, sometimes a random hanging bear or knitted installation, and there are plenty of impressive pieces along our alleyways. But Street Art, its not what we see much of around here. That is why about a year ago something beyond the daily stapled flyer, nailed yard sale sign or graffiti tag on the telephone pole caught my eye.

Corner of Ave 52.

Banded around a 1945 inspection stamp on the corner of Figueroa and Ave 52.

 

At first, I thought the nailed metal was just hardware placed by a utility company. But then, upon closer inspection, I realized it was something more, something artistic.

 

Metal medallion around a 1960 inspection stamp at Cypress Park Village on Figueora, in front of Nightingale Middle School.

Metal medallion around a 1960 inspection stamp in front of Nightingale Middle School at Cypress Park Village on Figueroa.

 

It was then that I started to notice the nailed metal pieces seemingly EVERYWHERE around Northeast Los Angeles.

 

On Colorado Blvd at Townsend in Eagle Rock.

On Colorado Blvd at Townsend in Eagle Rock.

 

Highland Park, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, all have them. The wooden telephone poles of Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock Boulevard, York Boulevard, and Figueroa Street are all potential pop-up galleries for the artist who calls himself “5150.”

 

Nail flower on Eagle Rock Blvd.

Nail flower on Eagle Rock Blvd.

 

Crazy or not, the artist 5150 (Or as Amy Inouye reports in September’s NELA Art News, his name is either Blake, Blaine or Brent) has made traveling about Northeast Los Angeles a lot more interesting. Finding the art about town is a lot like coming across geocaches, often hidden in plain sight, they add value to the day’s monotony.

 

 

The pieces are usually just abstract scrap metal repurposed from Lockheed Martin aerospace parts or metal container lids nailed to telephone poles with an abundance of nails. Sometimes 5150 creates a star or flower pattern with his nails, but for the most part the shapes are non-representative. So far, I have come across 32 of the art pieces, and surely expect to find more. Especially when I hear that hammer in the night.

 

The artist, 5150 hammering though the night.

The artist, “5150” hammering through the night.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2013 4:15 pm

    Hendrik Stooker used to talk about a local sensibility he enjoyed and referred to as ‘Highland Park Eccentric’. Stuff like the house near the Ave 57 Gold Line station with toy trains permanently installed on the porch roof, or the house on El Paso with the stucco leaves, and spider on the wall. Or Devon Glass’ giant roof lions. Or Chicken Boy. When I started to see the metal decorations, I thought of Hendrik. He would approve, and so do I.

  2. March 16, 2014 5:48 pm

    Neat! Just another reminder to keep your peepers open in this city– so many hidden treasures.

  3. March 16, 2014 5:53 pm

    Reblogged this on stripeycity and commented:
    Hooray for LA, Street Art, and Making Something Out of Nothing!

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