Street artists fill up empty Echo Park gas station

[portfolio_slideshow id=31787 autoplay=false portfolio_slideshow carousel=false portfolio_slideshow carouselsize=9] The tanks are empty, the windows are boarded up and a chain link fence surrounds a now closed Echo Park gas station at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Portia Street. But, as with any urban void, streets artists and taggers have taken over, turning the corner lot into an open air street art gallery. A poster of Ronald Reagan is slapped on a boarded up window. A Felix-the-Cat like character grins and a menacing Popsicle bears its fangs from the columns that hold up the station canopy.  The pumps are covered with stickers, drawings and tagging. Then there is the rendering  of a sad looking penguin with what looks like a rocket  strapped to its back.  Clean up crews have come and gone to paint over the tagging and scrape away the stickers but the artists and vandals are quick to take advantage of a clean canvas.


  1. Love Felix the Cat! Whoever put up the temporary fence should be notified. Being a temporary fence is only a temporary fix!

  2. It is a shame that we’ve crafted a society that accepts this destructive behavior as normal by calling it art. This is not art. This has not been sanctioned by the owners of the property and thus can only be two things.

    1) Trespassing
    2) Vandalism

    The mere fact that the headline stating “art” and not “vandalism” shows an acceptance of this behavior (at the very least by the author of this blog)

    I find the behavior of the vandals disgusting but the attitude of the author treating this subject dismissively is not far behind.

    “An open air street art gallery” ?????? WHAT???

    • “Why when I was your age, art had a DEFINITION!!”

      • Hey Hank, chill the fuck out. Who is this hurting? You don’t like it, shut your eyes when you walk/drive by. Are you a neighbor that considers this an eye sore, do something about it then. Contact the owner or agency selling this and ask to volunteer to clean up the space and maybe paint over the unwanted “vandalism”.

        • Hey El dandy,

          Please post your address and I’ll be glad to come and paint some “art” all over your place…

          Oh wait, you probably don’t OWN the property so you don’t get it!

          Save your tagging and your stupid “art” for your bedroom walls! This would save everyone from having to pass by with their eyes closed.

          And it shouldn’t be necessary for the owner to make a TALLER fence to send the message to KEEP OUT!!! What are you an animal? Not smart enough to get the idea of a fence?

          Why is this such a foreign concept to so many?

          Thank you.

    • Your argument is that any expression is vandalism if is placed on private property without permission. Would you say the “Vase with Fifteen Flowers” was vandalism if it had been painted on the wall of an abandoned gas station instead of on a canvas? Is having been done with permission a defining attribute for something to be called art?

      • Ruth…Yes definitely.

        I cant believe your question. Are you kidding?

        1) Vincent Van Gogh painted on HIS OWN CANVASES. But I’m sure that if he asked permission to paint 15 Sunflowers on someone else’s canvass and they said “NO” he wouldn’t have done it.

        2) To compare tagging to Van Gogh is quite a stretch.

        Sweety, this is about respect (or the lack there of), not a question of art.

        • I’m not arguing that the artists who decorate the gas station are of the caliber of Van Gogh; although the gas station as a whole does appeal to me. I’m strongly disagreeing with your argument that it isn’t art because it is done without permission. It would make no difference to anyone who truly appreciates Van Gogh if “Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers” were painted on the wall of a gas station. It would still be “Vase with Fifteen Flowers”, Sweetie.

  3. Despite the fact that I dislike this derelict building being so close to my house, I have enjoyed watching the art come and go, evolve. Graffiti and street art are an integral part of urban living, it is what it is. I for one enjoy it.

  4. i gotta keep it real – the abandoned gast station looks awful. it does not look like street art. i have no desire to fight about what constitutes art vs. tagging, but this is not what i want my neighborhood to look like.

  5. This is a bold faced case of gentrification gone wild. As someone aspiring to be considered a ‘long time resident’, I take offense at the lack of gang tags at this hazardous waste site. I think what this thing needs is some more gang tags to keep it legit and more like things used to be, instead of how they are. In fact, I vote we change ‘our’ previous plan to occupy magic gas/echo fuels and occupy this toxic site (or is it the future site of a mixed use, low income to mid high luxury condominium with spa amenities?).

    What is our cause you ask? We demand that things be how they were not how they are. I think it’s plain for everyone to see that this is the only sane stance to take in this mad mad mad world. (Failing this I suggest we send a special envoy to spy on the hipsters and see how they manage world domination).

    • If you “demand that things be how they were”, how about returning to the time prior to when gangs started moving in.

      • I think this is a great suggestion Mr. True! I’m hoping to propose just such a thing at the next occupy event (if we ever get the one off the ground that I proposed above). What I’m going to propose is that we find someone with a time machine and go back to this time before. I think if we make it big enough and get a lot of the right kind of gas (Though I think we should make it hybrid or electric so we can be green – wait, come to think o fit the FIRST trip we’ll take is into the future and then get some kind of special future fuel that doesn’t kill everyone) anyway…with enough future gas and a big space pod or whatever the time machine has, we can bring a lot of people back to enjoy the times before.

  6. No more LOL about the Social Horror`s of Latino Gangs. However Bad the
    ” Latino ” Bang scene Is, or Ever , was in Echo Park; It Is Nothing compared to What is similar for This type of Social blight in Say, Hollywood, The Core, or Venice.
    Put that in your Hookah and Smoke It !

  7. Put a bird on it

  8. My coco fresco just ended up in my lap, reading some of these comments. Vandalism? What?! This is art, and too bad it’s gotta be covered up by boring beige paint. I feel it should be protected as a permanent and changing art installation. Landmark status, anyone?

  9. Owned by United El Segundo Inc. of Gardena since 2010 – a gas station/ car wash/ convenience store is in this corner’s future…

  10. This is not art. This is tagging. Graffitit. Vandalism. Whatever. And it’s fugly

  11. Thank you, Carc.

    I would have imagined that a story about a derelict building would include some news about future plans.

    I would imagine that this rises to “nuisance” status. Building & Safety might be helpful here.

  12. Ironic pictures of Ronald Reagan. So clever. Would never have thought of that on my own.

  13. If you have property in Echo Park, then you should know what having property in EP comes with. Street Artists are all over the place here, Shepard Fairey’s studio is three blocks east of that gas station, and Montana , the graffiti art supply store is down the street. I live here and love that gas station and the creativity the artists have taken with it. for one, its abandoned, not being used. these street artist don’t break into houses to put their work there. Also don’t lump artists with gang-graffitti crews, very different, they have no respect for private property, and their “work” is just chicken scratch, nothing to offer us but eyesores.

    If you don’t like either, move to Simi Valley or even Glendale, where I work at and is pretty graffiti and street art clean (booring).

  14. To be honest, its simply graffiti/tagging

    …But my! How graffiti/tagging has mutated! (I prefer it)

  15. I live up the street on Scott and run the pool tables at Little Joy when I feel like flexing my muscle with the cue stick. When the bathroom line is to long I look forward to using the gas station as my latrine in between games. The graffiti is nice to look at. Btw I wash my hands after btw. Yes, Im a dirty birdy.

  16. It’s just as ugly without the painting. It’s more interesting with the painting.

  17. Whoever Ron Don is, I think I love you, and can I come with?

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