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Chaka's graffiti art catches fans' eyes at gallery, ignites readers' tempers here

May 4, 2009 |  1:51 pm

Chaka2 Given some of the outraged comments Culture Monster has received about our coverage of the transformation of Daniel Ramos, alias Chaka, from a notoriously busy teenage graffiti-tagger  to a 36-year-old gone legit with his first art show, we are relieved that paint balls can't be shot over the Internet and out through a computer monitor at the other end.

As it turns out, Chaka has his fans, and we're told by Lucy Beer, a spokeswoman for Mid-City Arts, that more than 700 attended his April 25 opening at the gallery, which is dedicated to graffiti art and street art.


"Fans swarmed around him as he posed for photo ops and the air was filled with a quiet reverence and awe," Beer writes. Chaka3

Triumph or travesty? Delinquency or delight? Urban legend or urban blight? The show's up through May 24 at the gallery, 5113 Pico Blvd., or you can click here for a look.

-- Mike Boehm

Photos: Images from Chaka's show, "Resurrection." Credit: Mid-City Arts.


 
Comments () | Archives (16)

Tagging is for complete losers. I hope Chaka's property is repeatedly vandalized. It is a blight on our city.

Outstanding message to the youth: Vandalize property, abuse drugs and alcohol, rape and impregnate young girls-- no problem. As long as you can eventually "turn your life around"-- regardless of how many people you may hurt along the way, you can still get rich and be admired.

So, his "art" is little more than his name painted again and again and again? Even a three-year old can do that.

My neighborhood is covered with this kind of tagging perpetrated by an assortment of troubled youth. Who decided this guy should be a celebrity? LA's art scene is all about the cult of the individual which rarely has anything to do with talent and hard work. Solipsistic nonsense.

Seriously, trying to ride Andy Warhol's coat-tails much? At least he could actually paint...

Uh, no, Warhol couldnt paint. He was a designer, not an artist.

I put off any judgment or comment on this Chaka til I actually saw his "work". Sorry, but its garbage, literally. I work with street kids, but through basketball. This is laziness, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Pick up a ball, and learn this game, it is far more emotional, demanding physicaly, of learning the game intelligently and advanced than msot contempt "art"., And especaily taggers who go around harassing those who live in downtrodden neighborhoods demanding attention,. it just adds to a depressing and economically ignored area. Its wrong. And, just bad. No skill at all. We need jobs, and clean pleasant neighborhoods the populace can take pride in. Not defacement by ego driven children. Grow up.

art collegia delenda est
and thier wannabes.

Yes, its not a good example he is but it depends how you look at it. Him being an artist is just to refrain him vandalizing LA, Im afraid of kids that woul look up to him and start tagging anywhere like him thinking he could be the next chaka yeah in a way terrible..

How disgusting that an art gallery in LA would display this vandal's so-called art. In 2008 it cost the city of LA $58 million to clean up graffitti from the city. Chaka's proceeds from any art sales should be confiscated by the city of LA and used to get that damned ugly graffitti off the city's walls. People like Chaka have ruined LA. Former Mayor Rudy of NY would have thrown this loser in jail and made him clean up the city. Our current Mayor of LA is a total waste.

Graffiti is not hard work? Yea. Climbing a freeway sign at 4am with nothing but a leather belt and not getting caught doing it is just a piece of cake, anyone can do it. Your all uncreative economic slaves married to your job. How can you assume every graffiti writer is an alcohol abusing, drug abusing, rapist, criminal? Where are your statistics? Show me facts than maybe i'll believe you but from what I've seen most graffiti artists are individuals seeking an escape from a uniformed life. It is an expression, dont say it's not if you've never experienced it. It's not about defacing property because most of it does not occur on private homes, cars etc. It's a rebellion against the rich, a freedom of expression "this is me, these colors, this design, this piece of time.. this is my bold statement, 'Iam not afraid' " It is too bad none of you could even TRY to understand it, like I said most of you believe individuality and art has to be categorized and 'understood'. You all becareful out there now wouldn't want the graffiti to jump off the wall and hurt you!!

Just to let everybody know GRAFFITI IS A FELONY IF ITS OVER 500 DOLLARS. I WITNESSED 1 GRAFFITI VANDAL LAST MONTH WRITING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY CALLED POLICE HAD HIM ARRESTED FOR FELONY GRAFFITI. GRAFFITI IS A SERIOUS CRIME NOW THAT FELONY GRAFFITI COUNTS AS A STRIKE. ALSO CHAKA NEEDS TO TAKE SOME ART CLASSES.CHAKA IS NOT AN ARTIST HE'S A GRAFFITI VANDAL SO SOON AS YOU SEE HIM TAGGING ON THE STREETS CALL POLICE RIGHT AWAY.

I'd rather die an artist making old abandoned building into a work of art and developing a skill than working a job I hate everyday or playing basketball. Anyone can throw into a hoop you can be the first to do something in basketball. Not everyone is athletic and not everyone lives in a nice neighborhood. Here in toledo we have graffiti all across out train yards and bridges, and they look better for it. Some people are better off tagging and learning to do something thats constructive than sitting around doing nothing and wasting their life. I do agree tagging private property is wrong and when i do i use water based paint so it washes off.

Mad love for gettin up Chaka even if i think you tags didnt require much talent. You put in work did something you loved and out something out of it. Sounds like a life lesson to me.

grafitti is a from of expression i dont think grafity is a crime

when is your next event?

Seriously, Id rather see stuff like this everywhere than scragy tags. He may inspire them to not just tag gang labels on the wall but to create something for everyone to look at and enjoy. Stop being so narrow minded

graffiti rocks u punks

I think graffiti is way to express yourself and it does not influence a kid to take drugs or drink alcohol of any sort


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