Chaz Bojoroquez

Los Angeles native and aster typographical graffiti writer Chaz Bojorquez (shown here) is known for his East LA/Chicano-style graffiti.

Brett Cook Dizney

Brett Cook Dizney lives in Berkeley, CA, where he draws inspiration from his experiences with art, education, science, and spirituality. This image is of photographer and historian, Jim Prigoff.

Chor Boogie

This mural, by San Diego native Chor Boogie, was commissioned by Century Ginwa in Xi’an China for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

Estevan Oriol

Los Angeles native Estevan Oriol is internationally recognized for his photographs of L.A. Latino street life, street art, and graffiti, like this photo, LA Hands.

Estria Miyashiro

Hawaii native and Oakland, CA-based artist Estria Miyashiro, is cofounder of The Estria Foundation. This mural, Octopus, is in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Freddy Sam

South African artist Freddy Sam painted this mural, Juma and Willard, in Woodstock, South Africa, where he’s been known to run art workshops for the benefit of local kids.


German artists Hera and Akut painted this mural,Art Doesn’t Help People, People Help People, during the Arotale Festival in Lueneberg, Germany.

Judy Baca

Judy Baca is a Los Angeles native, world-renowned painter and muralist, and cofounder of the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Los Angeles. This mural, Tiny Ripples of Hope, is at the LAUSD Robert F. Kennedy Community of Schools for K-12.

Kent Twitchell

Kent Twitchell is a muralist and grand-scale artist, who has created murals of celebrities, as well as artists and religious figures. This piece is entitled Michael Jackson Hand.

Augustine Kofie

Los Angeles artist Augustine Kofi painted this mural for Art Basel in Miami, FL.

Martha Cooper

Martha Cooper is a documentary photographer who has specialized in shooting urban vernacular art and architecture for over 30 years. This is a photo of work by graffiti artist Dondi on a New York subway train.

Mear One

Mear One is a contemporary artist in Los Angeles who started his career in graffiti during the 1980s. This mural, Dalai Lama, is at the intersection of Spaulding and Melrose avenues in Los Angeles.


Los Angeles graffiti artist Retna. This mural is on display at Bowery and Houston streets in New York.


The Mexico City-based Saner is inspired by Mexican custom, folklore, mysticism, masks, and Day of the Dead. This mural is in Turin, Italy.


Vyal is a Los Angeles artist regarded as a master of spray paint art, and a two-time champion of the Estria Battle, a nationwide urban art competition. This image is from the 2009 Estria Battle, where Vyal took first place.

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Urban Legends: See 45 Years Of Street Art From Around The World

Works of more than 50 graffiti artists, muralists, and photographers will grace downtown Los Angeles this month, showcasing how street art uplifts and chronicles urban life.

Continuing its celebration of urban public art, the Estria Foundation will bring together more than 50 public and graffiti artists from around the world for Urban Legends, Celebrating Public Art Around the World, which opens April 27 at the L.A. Mart Design Center in Los Angeles.

The Oakland, CA-based Estria, known for its nationwide graffiti competition and Water Writes Mural Project, is presenting the exhibit with L.A. Art Machine and the DoArT Foundation, in partnership with the Social and Public Art Resource Center and The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.

The exhibit includes the work of legendary public artists such as Kent Twitchell and Judy Baca (freeway muralists of the '84 Olympics in Los Angeles), street/graffiti artists like Retna and Chaz Bojorquez, and filmmakers Estevan Oriol and Martha Cooper. Exhibition works will be available for auction and sale.

"Urban Legends is a historical, first-ever showing of legendary muralists, graffiti writers and street artists," says Estria Foundation cofounder Estria Miyashiro. "The exhibition is bringing together seven mural organizations for the first time, presenting an overview of the larger 'Art in Public’ movement that we hope continues to grow."

The exhibitors hope to showcase the transitioning styles over 45 years and how it has affected and uplifted urban life.

Click on the slideshow above* to see some of the featured artists.

*Find the slide show above the headline. And stay tuned for an updated, improved slide show coming soon.

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  • Gary

    You are part of the problem plaguing urban areas-vandalism.  Promoting the idea that graffiti is art is irresponsible. 

    You have found and displayed the <1% of graffiti pollution that may begin to qualify as art, but failed to mention that 99% of graffiti is selfish pollution and an eyesore to society.

    Please try and be a responsible journalist and tell the whole story of graffiti vandalism- being a PR flak for some hipster event is as much journalism as graffiti is art.

  • Kent Clark

    There needs to be much more speaking out against vandalism of public art and vandalism in general. Enough political correctness and more free speech.

  • Raccman

    I totally agree. There is a right way and a wrong way  to create and display Art. This is absolutely the wrong way; displaying it on surfaces that belong to others, without their permission is criminal and should not be rewarded in any way shape or form !