It Caught My Eye: Business Façade Art

bargain market

When I lived in Hollywood, I would drive by some newly-remodeled storefront completely puzzled. The façade would have beautiful window decorations, a sign in modern typeface with some faux-foreign name, but there was no way of knowing what was inside: imported furniture? haute cuisine? haute couture? avant garde hair design? All this high-class pretense was tiresome—a fact lost on these business who popped up and disappeared like fungus.

When I started working in South LA, I was struck by the opposite fact: business façades not merely screamed out “LORENA’S HAIR SALON” but also provided a nice picture of a woman with a dramatic haircut next to blowdryer and a pair of scissors. “BARGAIN MARKET” had convenient pictures of the goods available within (evidenced by the picture at right).

While I realize I could delve into a socio-economic thesis (literacy rates in South LA, lack of English fluency) comparing these two locations, I prefer to admire the pop-art. Remember! Warhol started his career in advertisement illustration.

Annotated pics after the jump, including one which should probably be reviewed by Fleshbot.


Sonora Iron works seems like a very friendly place.

mambo auto parts

Mambo Auto Parts has a bright red background with these stylized line drawings of batteries and alternators. I have never seen any graffiti on this building.

Sexy cabinets

(YOU MUST CLICK TO EMBIGGEN Don’t miss this one!)

Finally, le pièce de résistance, this cabinet maker on Broadway and 66th street. While most cabinet-makers in the area are bland (showing no skin, but showing plenty of fine workmanship), this cabinet maker emphasizes the real reason we remodel: to get some action on the kitchen island when the kiddies are at school. If we were in the valley, this would make a fabulous day shoot.

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