One of many murals outside the venue produced live onsite for LA vs. War.

Photos by Kathleen Gasperini

LA vs. War is an enormous street art exhibition that takes place each year in downtown LA in various artist and warehouse districts where street art is actually at a high-point and if anything, the lay of the land among its artists’ residents. Among many commemorations to September 11, 2001, this event last weekend brought out 117 top street artists from across the nation showcasing their answers to the question, “After 10 years of the Global War on Terror, where do we now stand as a nation?” The results included such a variety of provocative art -from screen prints, posters, paintings, and sculptures. But the event also included activist teach-ins, a peace altar, DJs, video installations, artist workshops, and live laser graffiti.

Several stark images, reflections, and messages throughout this show.

LA vs. War attracts an entire range of characters -from celebrities showing up incognito, to families of all ethnicities, LA film producers, and a fair amount of bloggers, semi-homeless, and street art fans looking for tags in their autograph books, as the event, which runs its course for 3 days straight and ending at midnight, is an on-going extravaganza of interactive art. Live paintings hosted by galleries like ManOne’s Crewest, and artwork and T-shirts by Yo! Peace, plus live screen prints from Hit Run, bring out the entire posse of LA people to see this event.

Cherry-picking grenades.

Of course, it taking place over the weekend of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 had even more meaning this year, and the results were transitional as many people looked at the artwork, took pictures, watched the live paintings, and talked about what they thought about the state of the United States, terrorism, war, the environment, and the world at large.

Here are some provocative images:

This bird translation of the map of the United States, The Land of the Free had special meaning to those in Los Angeles and the West Coast in general.

Guantanamo Bay Toys representing horrid incidents in an artistic, youthful format.

The Cross.


Shepard Fairey’s Make Art Not War.

Punk-rock Flag.

This neon paint mural outside looked amazing at night with the black light on.

The Peace Altar.