LA is a city of reinvention, dedicated through its public art programme to making even the most neglected spaces beautiful. Beginning by focusing on a few project areas in downtown LA in 1968, by 1993 the programme was operating across the whole city. Developers must now contribute 1% of their costs to funding the installation of an artwork, contributing to a staggering range of aesthetic creations from some of the world’s most innovative artists. E&V have assembled a top ten list of public art pieces that visitors and residents alike can’t afford to miss.
Hollywood/Vine Red Line Station – Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street
Perhaps the most decorated Metro station in the entire system. LA artist Gilbert Luján, a.k.a. Magu, has installed palm tree columns supporting the show reel-studded ceiling and filled the station with hidden filmic references and artefacts.
Celebrity Murals – 5840 Santa Monica Boulevard
LA has a wealth of celebrity murals, but these portraits are some of the best. Painted by Hector Ponce in 2001, the work depicts Elvis Presley, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Marilyn Monroe and The Beatles.
Fork In The Road – South Pasadena Avenue and South Saint John Avenue
Artist Ken Marshall installed this piece in the middle of the night as a prank in 2009. It proved so popular with the local community that it became a permanent work of art in October 2011.
Chandelier Tree – West Silver Lake Drive and Shadowlawn Avenue
Adam Tenenbaum was a set builder who found several broken chandeliers at work and strung them up in a tree outside his home. Additional chandeliers have been added over the years, gradually creating a beloved local landmark.
Beehive – 8520 National Boulevard
Eric Own Moss is a prolific architect with work all over the city. The Beehive, comprising four columns wrapped in a staircase, forms part of an office block, revitalising a potentially soulless commercial space with a truly individual façade.
The Great Wall of Los Angeles – Burbank and Coldwater Canyon Avenue
The wall is part of the Tujunga Flood Control Channel, but has been saved from concrete obscurity by its mural. It was designed in 1994 by Judith Baca and carried out by young locals, depicting the history of California.
Urban Light – 5905 Wilshere Boulevard
This installation features over 200 streetlamps, all of which once lit the streets of LA. Designer Chris Burden has converted them all to solar power, and the lamps still come on every night throughout the hours of darkness.
T.E.U.C.L.A – 405 Hilgard Avenue, UCLA
This ‘Torqued Ellipse’ circles the Broad Art Centre plaza at UCLA. Installed in 2006 and designed by sculptor Richard Serra, the piece weighs 42.5 tonnes and was Serra’s first public sculpture in Southern California.
Watts Towers – 1727 East 107th Street
Simon Rodia’s labour of love was built over three decades. Between 1920s-1950s, Rodia worked to create the 17 interconnecting structures and inlay them with shiny fragments, which can be seen glittering from all over the city.
These artists design the streetscapes, green spaces and cosmopolitan landscapes of LA, physically building communities united by art. Engel and Völkers can help you become part of this community, using our extensive local knowledge to expertly guide you through every stage of the buying process. Visit E&V LA to find out more.