downtown los angeles

LA Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas at Pasadena Museum of California Art

LA artist RETNA mural at Pasadena Museum of California Art (Photo: PMCA)

Have you been past the PMCA lately in the Playhouse District? For those who have, you may have been pleasantly surprised to see the entire facade of this Californian art museum covered in graffiti (art, that is). Many have wondered what this art piece is about so Christine Goo, Development and Marketing Manager at PMCA, sends info about this art installation so we aren’t left in the dark.

Here is a quick bit of info on the mural & artist:

The Pasadena Museum of California Art announces a new 46-foot tall mural by acclaimed artist RETNA on the front façade of its building. The mural is being painted on the occasion of the opening of the PMCA’s exhibition on Los Angeles graffiti artists called, Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas. A highly respected graffiti artist in Los Angeles and beyond, RETNA has recently been taking the art world by storm with major installations in the seminal Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition, Art in the Streets, and international solo exhibitions of his beautiful, calligraphic paintings.

Resembling hieroglyphs, runes, or cuneiforms, RETNA’s idiosyncratic graffiti letters actually draw from the unique history of Los Angeles graffiti, which began with hobo writing and cholo styles of graffiti, and contain a heavy dose of his own creative innovation. In order to achieve the hard edge for which he is so well known, the artist works primarily with brush and paint as opposed to aerosol even for his murals. Bridging past and present through his letterforms, RETNA’s current minimalist work conveys a sense of mysticism as it lays bare the elements of modern graffiti.

Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas exhibition info:

Internationally renowned as one of the most fertile grounds for graffiti art, the City of Angels has its own idiosyncratic graffiti styles created from filtering the innovative New York “wildstyle” through local influences such as gang writing styles. The Los Angeles artists featured in Street Cred currently represent a broad range of genres through their fine art production, from letter-based formalism to Surrealism. Co-curated by Steve Grody and PMCA Exhibition Manager Shirlae Cheng-Lifshin, this exhibition will also include Grody’s photographs from the crucial years of the graffiti scene, providing key insights into the visual “language” of graffiti, its development in Los Angeles, the ways in which the street work informs the canvas work, and how the two worlds interact.

LA graffiti artist RETNA working on the facade of the PMCA (Photo: PMCA)


  1. Very cool… I keep meaning to go see the exhibition but had no idea about the facade. It looks great. Nice piece, Brigham.

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