The photography of Carol M. Highsmith and Camilo Jose Vergara is featured in “L.A. Murals,” a new exhibition now on view in the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall’s Library of Congress Ira Gershwin Gallery, 111 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles.
The exhibit documents murals painted on the streets of Los Angeles, a noted epicenter of the world’s street art scene.
“The focus of the exhibition was inspired by the vitality of the visual arts and creativity of LA.,” said Carla Hayden from the Library of Congress, which is showcasing the collection. “Our national library holds an incredible collection of more than 14 million photographs documenting our culture, including the creativity and diversity of Los Angeles.
The exhibit includes photographs that were created between 1997 and 2016, recording the work of recognized artists, as well as those whose paintings were created as signage, commercial art, homages and memorials. Maps of each mural location are provided to mark their original sites, some of which are now gone.
“Los Angeles is home to a flourishing artistic community with a number of highly talented street artists and muralists whose work portrays the many cultures of our vibrant county and provides a vibrant backdrop to our daily lives,” said Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “The Music Center is thrilled to be able to provide a platform that highlights this art form and the many murals that are a part of the fabric of LA.”
The murals depict a wide variety of images, including religious icons, a memorial honoring a victim of gun violence, city storefronts and businesses and heroic figures, such as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. along with Kobe Bryant and James Worthy of the LA Lakers.
Highsmith is in the midst of a multi-year project to photograph the entire country state by state. Vergara has been photographing the streets of major U.S. cities for nearly 50 years. Among the thousands of photographs in their archives at the Library of Congress, the two created well over 100 photographs documenting murals in LA that capture the tapestry of the city’s street art. Their archives can be accessed at www.loc.gov/pictures.
The Library of Congress Ira Gershwin Gallery is located on the second floor of the Concert Hall. Guest can visit the gallery when on a tour or while attending a performance. For more information, call The Music Center at (213) 972-3328.