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© Lord Jim/Flickr

Take A Mural Tour In LA Arts District's Traction Avenue

Picture of Marnie Sehayek
Updated: 17 November 2016
The Downtown LA Arts District is teeming with art on every façade, street corner, alleyway, and electrical box. Zoom in on the heart of the district, the artistically dense thoroughfare of Traction Avenue, to get a taste of LA‘s most colorful neighborhood. Take a leisurely stroll along this route for a stellar sampling of public art.

Traction and 4th Street

Formerly home to Starfighter’s beloved ‘Redemption of Angels’ mural, 4th and Traction now hosts an updated wall with a new pair of figures. Starfighter is known for her larger than life, fierce depictions of female characters. This piece is in collaboration with graffer Fan AKA Pan, whose quintessential balloon realism can be seen in the mylar sheen of the figure on the left.

📷 @KungFuBreakfast sunrise shot of the Downtown LA collab with @fanakapan

A photo posted by Christina Angelina (@starfightera) on


Binford Lofts

German graffiti wunderkinds How and Nosm unleash their signature aesthetic on the side of the Binford Lofts building in an elaborate mural called ‘Heartship.’ Completed in only six days under the LA Freewalls project, the mural depicts a spaceship built out of artistic ingenuity, floating through the unchartered galaxy in the twins’ recognizable style and palette. Take time to appreciate the details in this one.

843 Traction Ave., Los Angeles, CA, USA


Traction and 4th Place

‘Coyotes and Butterflies’ by Kim West is a popular splash of color prominently situated on Traction just next door to Wurstkuche; the mural is bursting with energy – the growl of the coyotes reverberates through the exploding flight of Technicolor butterflies, blurred in motion.

Peep around the corner of Traction and 4th Place to experience a dense smattering of art worth a stop. The rainbow pattern snaking up and down the façade of community art center Art Share undulates and ebbs against the black building. Across the way, the American Hotel hosts a rotating gallery of muralists on its southern wall.

Traction Ave & 4th Place, Los Angeles, CA, USA


Joel Bloom Triangle

From the vantage point Joel Bloom Triangle, mural hunters will see two recognizable artists emerge from the streets. On the corner of Traction and Hewitt, esteemed activist artist Ai Weiwei holds up a handful of sunflower seeds. This mural by Damon Martin recreates a photograph taken of the artist during the artist’s Sunflower Seeds installation at the Tate Modern.

An art offering by the talented Damon Martin in the Downtown LA Arts District. #DamonMartin #streetart #art

A photo posted by Paper and Fabric (@paperandfabric) on

Turn your glance eastward down 3rd Street, and you’ll see Shepard Fairey’s ‘Peace Goddess’ and her owl companion watching over the Arts District denizens below.

Joel Bloom Triangle, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Morning in the #ArtsDistrict #DTLA #losangeles #dtlaartsdistrict. by @vicsendler

A photo posted by DTLA Arts District (@dtlaartsdistrict) on


Angel City Brewery

Angel City Brewery is adorned with street art heavy hitter JR’s ‘Wrinkles of the City,’ a furrowed brow peering skeptically over the street below. The artist installed this wheat-pasted photograph above the brewery awning as part of MOCA’s Art in the Streets exhibition in 2011. JR’s work can be found throughout the downtown area, but the clever placement and textured character of these pensive eyes make this piece a standout.

Angel City Brewery, 216 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Enjoying life on a Saturday #beerme #downtownla #losangeles

A photo posted by Luis Torres (@ltorres99) on

Continue down Traction to the other side of the Angel City Brewery building to see a Technicolor patchwork courtesy of artist Shrine, the same artist who is responsible for the iconic tower installations at Coachella, made from ornately assembled reclaimed materials.

Cruising downtown #losangeles #losangelesnow

A photo posted by Tafarai Bayne (@tafaraibayne) on