The Graff Lab’s mural of Michael Jackson, which was unveiled this past August, is featured in the video for Akon and Michael Jackson’s duet “Hold My Hand.” The Graff Lab’s MJ mural appears toward the end of the “Hold My Hand” video, so be patient — you will be rewarded. Posters and t-shirts of the MJ mural are for sale at the Graff Lab, so don’t forget to pick one up next time you are in the yard.
Last weekend the Graff Lab welcomed Danny Sherman of Principal Entertainment. Ricky Guerrero gave Danny the official tour of the yard and our facilities, which include a silk screen t-shirt station, an arts and crafts workshop, a music room, a dance studio and a nascent boxing ring.
A big thanks goes to Sal One and Gizz for the Principal Entertainment piece. It turned out so great that Danny is going to use it for the company Christmas cards. Another thank you goes to the folks at Principal Entertainment for their generous donation. Without contributions like yours, the Graff Lab is not possible.
Principal Entertainment, originally known as Lasher, McManus, & Robinson, opened its doors in January of 1993. The company, still in the hands of Estelle Lasher, Marsha McManus and Elizabeth Robinson, has continued to develop into a well respected bi-coastal boutique talent and literary management company while adding to its diverse production slate. Partners Meg Mortimer and Larry Taube have joined Principal’s ranks. Managers within the company have expanded to include Jill Kaplan, Mike Smith, Josh Kesselman, Danny Sherman and most recently producer/manager Susana Zepeda.”
“Principal Entertainment boasts an eclectic, and highly respected international talent roster. Their literary department has an active roster of writers and directors in television, film, independent film, documentaries and reality television. Over the years, the company has developed and or produced the following partial list:
· The Last Time I Committed Suicide premiered at the Sundance Film Festival
· The Killing Yard premiered at the Toronto Film Festival
· Outreach, a one hour pilot, produced with Warner Brothers Television.
· Monster Island developed and produced for MTV Networks
· Five Fingers starring Laurence Fishburne and Ryan Phillipe
· Griffin & Phoenix premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
· Death At A Funeral directed by Frank Oz
· Off the Black premiered at the Sundance Film Festival starring Tim Hutton & Nick Nolte
Here is some the best stuff that what went up over Thanksgiving weekend at The Graff Lab. Check back each week to see the new aerosol art gracing our walls. Or better yet come see for yourself at the corner of Venice and Union in downtown LA right off the 110 freeway and join our family. See what all the fuss is about today.
Saturday, December 4th is Children’s Day at the Graff Lab. Arts and crafts, music and dance lessons, t-shirt design, screen-printing tutorials and of course world famous graffiti. All ages are welcome! See Lawonna Rashad, Ricky Guerrero or another member of the Graff Lab staff for more details… A brighter future starts today — from what you did yesterday.
Since July producer-director Rory Owen Delaney has been working on a documentary about The Graff Lab, the Pico Union Housing Corporation and life in downtown Los Angeles. At the center of the film are Ricky Guerrero and Gloria Farias whose enterprising programs and teamwork have been uplifting the Pico-Union community for years. By empowering local taggers, skaters and jerks to create art, dance, music and small businesses, Ricky and Gloria aim to include the Pico-Union district in the gentrification of downtown LA while still maintaining their community’s distinct identity.
Delaney’s previous documentary “Toxic Soup” was recently acquired by The Documentary Channel and was an official selection of the 2010 Atlanta Film Festival, New Jersey Film Festival, Twin Cities Film Festival, Louisville International Festival of Film, the KahBang Film Festival and the American Conservation Film Festival, among others. Delaney is currently editing a trailer for the upcoming Graff Lab documentary. In the meantime he has posted some graffiti time lapses shot at the world famous Graff Lab on his vimeo and youtube profiles. The first time lapse features German graffiti artist Jason Holloway and LA-based Aldo. The second time lapse features California graffiti artists Serk and Savager.
Here are some of the more recent pieces that have gone up at the world famous Graff Lab located on the corner of Venice and Union in downtown Los Angeles. Every Saturday and Sunday the yard makes a colorful transformation that you have to see to believe. Ricky Guerrero founded the Graff Lab in 2006 after the Los Angeles public schools slashed their arts programs due to budgetary issues. The Graff Lab is an urban art gallery as well as a safe haven that is committed to developing positive art and artists.
Ricardo Guerrero, an artist and musician, is the founder of the Graff Lab in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. The program aims to turn street taggers into skilled artists. There is only one rule: No gangsters. (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times / October 1, 2010)
Last week the LA TIMES ran a feature article on Ricky Guerrero and The Graff Lab. The Rick Rojas story appeared in the November 14th edition of the paper.
“The afternoon sun sears Louie Mesa as he stands on cracked pavement in a black ball cap, black T-shirt and dark jeans. The sweat on his brow doesn’t seem to bother him. He’s savoring his canvas.
The battered wall in front of him may be a hodgepodge of bright colors and scattered patterns from taggers past, but on this slate Mesa sees a dream.
He’s been in this spot for hours, arriving at 9:30 a.m. after a restless night, painting from memory a piece of art that has been sketching itself out in his mind for days. He’s illustrated his name with block letters and filled it in with silver paint and airy patterns.
Mesa said it was his third visit to the Graff Lab in the Pico-Union neighborhood, a weekend program that aims to transform street taggers into skilled artists. The Graff Lab offers space on walls that wrap around the office complex of the Pico Union Housing Corp. There is only one rule: No gangsters.
“It’s not defacing property; it’s an art form,” said founder Ricardo Guerrero. “They can be whatever they want, but when they cross through those doors, they are an artist.”
Read the entire article by Rick Rojas of the LA TIMES here.
If you have art, bring it down to the Lab and let us take a look. We are always looking to expand our art gallery with water colors, oil paintings, charcoal drawings, sculptures, found art and photography. The Graff Lab encourages the development of positive art and artists. The Graff Lab is located on the corner of Venice and Union in downtown LA. We are open Saturdays and Sundays. See you soon.
The Graff Lab recently made some NEW t-shirts. The shirts cost around $10 and all proceeds go to buying paint and maintaining our facilities. Come down to 1038 W.Venice Blvd (Los Angeles, Ca 90015) on Saturday or Sunday between 8 am and 5 pm and purchase a t-shirt for you and friends. Help keep the Graff Lab open, an art refuge in the heart of downtown LA.