Photo Essay: Skill UTI Burning Walls In West Los Angeles.

Posted February 1, 2013 by LA Street Art Gallery Staff in article
Skill UTI

Los Angeles graffiti and culture is a movement ever changing and growing in unison with the city, from vibrant colors to perfectly structured architecture. Behind the city’s art and design is a life that drives LA’s evolution of beauty. The graffiti art that comes out of LA, Its uniqueness and existence from all walks of life is an un controlled substance of art. Letter’s that drive graffiti artist to push themselves into a state of creativity that is endless. Los Angeles graffiti styles have pushed and have kept breaking the barrier of art that hasn’t gone unnoticed, these styles have influenced writers world wide. Los Angeles as a city is very cultured inspiring many into expressing themselves as artist, street artist, and graffiti artist.

I had the great opportunity to meet and photograph Skill a veteran in the Los Angeles graffiti scene. He is a graffiti artist and an active member of UTI. Skill was painting a wall for a West Los Angeles community, upon arriving I did not know what to expect. In the graff world, you really do not know what type of artist you are going to meet. Many artist allow the graff game to get to their head, and it is not uncommon to come across an overly egotistic artist. Skill was far from this, he was completely humble, both as a man and a graffiti artist. Skill’s essence and work convey wisdom and exceptional talent. He was accompanied by his dog Pepper, and as the day went on other graffiti artist of UTI slowly arrived to paint. I was an outsider witnessing this tight nit family’s talents. Most graffiti artist are hesitant to be photographed, but these artist slowly warmed up to me.

In the world of graffiti its all about can control, some graffiti artist may have a lose diseased like structure to a very classic but firm letter foundation. You can add a complex color scheme or you can keep it simple with a 2 tone. Graffiti writers from this generation sometimes seem to forget about basic letter structure by hiding behind a complex color scheme. Graffit art that is clean, crisp, and bold will always stay true to the roots. Skills Letter structure is very bold and legible but beats most of the competition even with a simple 2 tone color scheme.

 As the day proceeded, I could see how much of a mentor Skill was to his fellow UTI members. At one point in the day Skill walked over to the wall that was closest to street and unleashed 6 “throw up’s”; which are letters that are  painted very quickly. Everyone that was in attendance at the yard completely stopped what they were doing to watch. It was surreal to witness and photograph this moment. The beauty behind something so violent as a “throw-up”, it is an arsenal that every graffiti artist possesses,it is a like moment of war against the grey walls. I talked to Skill about the community behind UTI, how they supported each other whether it be paint, walls, or life advice, and I could see how he is a teacher and a leader within the graff world.

 The originality and flavor that Skill brings to the Los Angeles Graffiti scene will never be forgotten or gone  un noticed. His art is an inspiration for many and an influence to the true essence of what characterizes Los Angeles graffiti art.

-Anthony Godinez


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