LA Weekly’s Building Gets a Makeover from How and Nosm

By Doug Bleggi

For years, the side of the LA Weekly building featured a large graffiti crossword painted by Ben Eine. In the world of graffiti, “going over” another artist’s work is a big no-no, but in the case of German artists How and Nosm, not only were they contacted directly by the publication to paint over the faded crossword art, but they also got the blessing from Eine himself, saying via e-mail, “With regard to the outside of LA Weekly I couldn’t think of two people I would like to repaint the outside of your building more than Nosm and How, I know they will do an amazing job.”

From there, the boys sprang to work, and on Valentine’s Day uncovered a beautiful new backdrop. The concept started as a half-joke, where during an interview, LA Weekly‘s Shelley Leopold asked if the the two artists would consider repainting their building for fun. Little did they know they took the request seriously and would cook up a design that now is displayed prominently on the wall. Using just white, red, and black, the two painted various bottles on, some using the windows as the main focus, with the designs being shown on either side.

The main theme is “messages in a bottle,” a loosely based tie-in to the magazine and website’s weekly messages, but also as a framework for nice looking visual art involving fish, hands, faces, and hearts. Parts of the L.A. landscape are also depicted on the wall, with the L.A. river washing up on the right side, which sits opposite pink and red diamonds that gradually morph into grey waves.

For the best viewing of the mural, give it a look from the traffic area exiting the 405, where one can see all the bottles coming together to form one large bottle spilling red liquid out into the streets. This is How and Nosm’s third mural this year, and they intend to paint 97 more, so be on the lookout for more great street art from them in 2012.