Experience 11: Scratch – Jun 8 until Sept 21, 2014

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Many of LA’s most influential graffiti and tattoo artists will cover the walls and floors of ESMoA to publicly launch their 21st century encounter with an artistic tradition: The Getty Graffiti Black Book.

In 2013 more than 150 of LA’s leading graffiti artists responded to a 16th century manuscript from the vaults of the Getty Research Institute called a liber amicorum (book of friends) by contributing works on paper to be bound into a single book and created the Getty Graffiti Black Book. Street artists have used black books for decades to create a visual memory of drafts and to serve as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas. The extraordinary competition that occasionally arises among such artists can also lead to respect as rivals invite each other to “hit” their black books with original works. The contributing artists decided to give the Getty Black Book the title, LA Liber Amicorum, to capture the spirit of its transformation of rival ‘writing-crews’ into a Los Angeles Book of Friends.

Now, ESMoA and the Getty Research Institute have invited Getty Black Book artists Axis, Cre8, Defer, Eyeone, Fishe, and Miner to co-curate those crews of creative friends from the LA graffiti art community and turn the art laboratory of ESMoA into an open black book. Graffiti and tattoo artists will transform the space into a cathedral of urban art for the first presentation of the LA Liber Amicorum to the public with SCRATCH.

Graffito is old Italian slang for “a little mark,” and graphein in Ancient Greek meant “scratch, draw, paint” long before it meant “to write.” Graffiti artists craft letterforms, draft perspective, and merge line, color, and form with the same techniques employed by Renaissance masters like Albrecht Dürer.

The first edition of Dürer’s landmark book on perspective was just one of the many rare books that the artists viewed at the Getty Research Institute in the process of creating the LA Liber Amicorum. Some of those jewels in the history of calligraphy, engraving, and emblematic symbolism from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, as well as sixteenth-century painted friendship-books that inspired the project, will be installed in the space surrounded by the graffiti-writers’ art. iPads will be mounted, so visitors can ‘e-flip’ through the books and not only share the artists’ own creative experience and response to the impact of viewing these rare books, but also continually co-curate the space by choosing which page-openings will be in dialogue with the art on the walls and floor.

The SCRATCH art experience is curated by GRI Rare Books Curator, David Brafman.

SCRATCH Artists   AiseBorn | Alex “Defer” Kizu | Arbe | Atlas | Augustine Kofie | Axis | Big Sleeps | Bob Roberts | Charlie Roberts | Cryptik | David Cowan (Miner) | Demer One | Design 9 | Devin Flynn (Relm) | Dr.Eye | Earn One | Eder | Enkone | Eric “Cre8” Walker | Eyeone | Fearo | Fishe | Gajin Fujita | Gorgs | Heaven | Hert | Jeffrey Saunders(Dye5) | Jose “Prime” Reza | Kasl | Keo One | Kopey | Korea | Kozem | Krush | Kyle Kyote | Lokus | Mark 7 | Patrick Martinez | Nuke | Pedro Balugo (PJ) | Plek | Pyer | Raymond “Gramps ”Green | Roder 169 | Saber | Sano | Steven Tishkoff (Mist) | Swank | Tanner | Tempt | Thanks | The Phantom Street Artist | Versus 269 | Vyal | Wram One

. . . And all of the other artists who left their mark on the walls and in the Getty Black Book’s LA Liber Amicorum   Acme | Adict One | Angst | Asylm | Augor | Bash | Betoe | Blosm and Petal | Cab | Cache | Cale One | Care | Chaz | Chris | Chubbs | Crae & K4P Crew | Craola | Craze | Crime (Rick One) | Czer One | Duem and Crae | Elika | Else | ESK31 | Estevan Oriol | Gabe88 | Gasoline | Gkae | Graff One | Green | Haste | Hex (LOD) | Hex (TGO) | Hyde | Jack | Jack Rudy (Mr. Huero) | Jake One | Jero and Each | Joker One | Junior (“Kost One”) | K4P (Collaboration of the K4P crew-Pranxs Method | Biser | Crae | Dsrup) | K4P (Chelo | Noek | Notik) | Kaos | Krenz (Yem) | Kwite One | Ler Keen | Look | Mach Five | Mandoe | Man One | Mike Miller | Mister Cartoon | OG Abel | Owen | Panic One | P. Chuck | Phever | Playboy Eddie | Pletk P17 | Precise | Punk | Push | Pyro | Rayo | Relic | Retna | Rev | Rich One | Rick Ordoñez | Risk | Rival | Sacred 194 | Sel | Ser | Shandu One | Sherm |Skan One | Skez | Skill | Slick | SomeOne | Soon One | Spade | Spurn | Syte One | Teler | Test | Thel | Trigz | Tyke Witnes | Useck | Vox One | Werc | Wise | Wisk | Woier | Zes

LA Liber Amicorum

The Getty Black Book Project was the brainchild of donor and art collector Ed Sweeney, who approached the GRI with the idea and brought the graffiti artists together, ultimately donating the book to the Getty Research Institute.

You can view the entire Getty Black Book here, and read Brafman’s blog on the book-project here.
For press coverage on the book-project see KCET ARTBOUND and LACMA ON FIRE

Image: Work by Axis ©Axis 2012

Events for this Experience

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SUMMER CAMP Applications now available

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Experience 11: SCRATCH Opening

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Young Professionals Mixer

Movie Night SCRATCH Graffiti Verite' Getting up

Movie Night – Graffiti Verite’ and Getting Up

Movie Night Style Wars

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Las Amazonas – LA Graffiti Women

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ESMoA Art walk on Main Street

Movie Night Wholetrain

Movie night – Wholetrain

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SCRATCH Zine Fair

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Calligraphy Course

Finding FAME Cooking Class

Graff-EAT-i Cooking Art History Class

Tattoo Demo with Big Sleeps

Live Tattoo Demo with Big Sleeps

Movie Night Alter Ego

Movie Night – Alter Ego

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Family Day