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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Storefront Report: 4,000 spray paint cans means one-stop shopping for graffiti artists *

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For the many Echo Park residents who have spent years cleaning up tagging, the opening of a “paint boutique” catering to graffiti artists with a huge stock pile of spray paint is going to make them see red.  But the owners of Montana LA, which is scheduled to open later this month in the 1500 block of Sunset Boulevard, want to make clear their store is about serving graffiti and street artists – not taggers. “We don’t promote tagging,” said Kelly Raval, one of  store’s partners. “We promote art.” In fact, street art has turned into a big business. Raval’s store wants to capitalize on the art form’s popularity by selling a high-end line of European-made spray paint made by a company called Montana Cans.  The store will stock about 4,000 cans of paint, including a custom-made display rack with 3,000 canisters priced at about $6 each.   On the other side of the store, a faux street scene wall – complete with a brick wall, fire hydrant and parking meter – will serve as a gallery of spray paint art created by visiting artists.

“The idea is to have all the products in at all times,” Raval said of Montana LA, which will also carry markers and other street art supplies.  “We want to make it more like a paint boutique.”

The German-made paint appeals to artists becomes it comes in a wide variety of shades and comes in low-pressure cans, giving the graffiti artist more control to create details, Raval said. In addition to spray paint, Montana LA will also carry markers and other supplies for street artists.

Raval said one of the partners in the store is associated with another Los Angeles graffiti artist supply store, 33third in the Midcity area. Unlike 33third, Montana LA won’t have artists create work in store – all of it will be painted somewhere else. Raval said the shop is also committed to cleaning up graffiti tags on the block, where his shop is located between Patra Burger and Barragan’s.

“It’s just like an up and coming area,” Raval said of Echo Park. “It’s a very artistic environment.”

* Correction: An earlier version of this post  identified the aerosol paint supplier as Montana Colors. The correct name is Montana Cans.



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24 comments

  1. WORST IDEA EVER.

  2. Really??? Come on they will be selling spray paint “serving graffiti and street artists – not taggers”. How will they know who is a gang member wanting to tag on private property or a “street artist”? Will they offer free clean up if their paint is found being used by gang members to tag on the walls and steps of Echo Park? Will they have a video camera in the store to record all of the “artists” who buy the spray paint for the cops to ID the taggers and known gang members? What measures will they take to keep the spray cans out of the hands of tagers? Or will they sell their cans to anyone who has cash in hand?

  3. HELL YES!! ABOUT TIME MTN OPENED A SHOP IN L.A.!!!

  4. three cheers for capitalism

  5. Hmm, what can is a tagger going to buy? A $6 can from that store or a $3 can from HD? Give me a break you knee-jerk reactionaries. BTW, are they going to carry tips?

  6. Chad, I think you’re exaggerating. I don’t think “gang members” buy spray paint in boutiques.

  7. CHAD- FALL BACK MY MAN, THIS BRAND OF PAINT IS ALREADY AVAILABLE AT MAINTAIN AND BLUE ROOSTER AND DICK-FRICKING- BLICK-ART STORE. NOT TO MENTION 5 OTHER STORES IN L.A.. DON’T BE A PAINT NAZI ABOUT ONE CERTAIN BRAND.

  8. there will be tagging going on even if this store was not in place. Graff is not going to go away even if you like it or dislike it. It might not show up as much as the gentrification continues.

  9. “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

    With that said stop any LADP officer and ask if you should approach or stop a person tagging or spray painting on walls? They will all say no, why? Just ask Ronald Lamonte Barron…(Barron confronted the tagger, who pulled out a pistol and fired once, hitting Barron in the chest). Oh wait you can’t he’s dead. What I originally wanted to know is what safety measurement will be in place to keep Echo Park safe and tag free?

  10. TRY READING THE ARTICLE BEFORE SPEWING YOUR INTERFERENCE IT SAYS RIGHT THERE

    “Raval said the shop is also committed to cleaning up graffiti tags on the block, where his shop is located between Patra Burger and Barragan’s.”

    NERVOUS NELLIE LIKE YOU SHOULD MOVE FAR AWAY FROM ECHO PARK, SILVERLAKE AND ANY URBAN ENVIRONMENT. YOU SOUND LIKE A PERFECT CANDIDATE FOR THE SUBURBS. NO TAG BANGERS WILL SHOOT YOU IN THE CHEST OVER THE OPENING OF A BOUTIQUE PAINT STORE.

    STOP USING YOUR TERRORIST TACTICS TO FRIGHTEN THE NEIGHBORS AND YIELD THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW BUSINESSES.

    YOU COME OFF IGNORANT. WHY DON”T YOU GRAB SOME TOOLS AND START CLEANING YOURSELF. PEOPLE LIKE YOU ONLY PUT IN WORK COMPLAINING. BOO YOU!!!

  11. That designer spray paint will look awesome on Shepard Fairey’s building.

  12. Stop shouting.

  13. And here I thought it was going to be a Sesame Street store…

  14. Any bets on how long before the place is broken into and stripped of all its spray cans? Days – not weeks!

    Release the hounds……..

  15. What’s the ventilation like in that store? This seems like an OSHA violation.

  16. I’ll take a wait and see attitude. But, I am sick to death of getting tagged and vandalized. I am going to play the blame game if it increases after the opening of this store. This seems like an invitation to more tagging, by making it so accessible. I think at HD they have to leave id or something. Spray paint always seems to be locked up. What is the scoop? anyone?

  17. Ruby Jackson- OSHA violation? LMAO They will be SELLING the paint, which meets all U.S. environmental standards for its product class, not spraying it inside. Sara- At HD you show your ID at the register to prove you are at least 18. You do not leave your ID, this would be foolish and would never result in an arrest for tagging. The cops are going to trace a can back to a certain HD and proceed to video for a bust? LMAO And yes the spray paint is locked up and has been for many years, another aspect of the law. Relax all, you won’t notice any differences in the hood once this opens up.

  18. ‘Chad Is Wack’, you’re an idiot. I’ve lived in Silver Lake/Echo Park for many years, and there’s nothing artistic about tagging. The problem is that one man’s art is a whole lot of other people’s tagging.

    And while I agree that most gang taggers will go to HD or a mom ‘n pop hardware store to get their goods, the appearance of this store will just make residents go ballistic. On a related front, I’d sure like the cops to be more aggressive on the whole tagging front, since the taggers themselves have decided to go completely insane lately. Tagging is now everywhere. Maybe not as bad as when that mom decided to drive her kids up and down Sunset Boulevard a couple of years back, enabling them to quickly tag dozens of businesses, but this time it’s people’s homes. We have every right to be angry, so don’t try telling us we’re reactionary.

  19. Ah yes…nothing like a family squabble!

  20. Where is all this artistic graffiti happening? All I see in Echo Park is Cache’s work (which is great) and senseless tagging (plus old murals which are regularly defaced). Not sure if the taggers in my hood will really spend that much money on paint, but I’ll let you know if the tree in front of my house is suddenly tagged with “burnt sienna” spray paint instead of the normal black.

  21. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Patrol Division

    Good morning all, hope your weekends go well,

    Re Montana Cans, we were aware of its opening but were not monitoring its clientele or similar, but were monitoring the area to see if graffiti increased. Anecdotally, officers have not observed a dramatic increase, nor have our statistics borne out the fact more vandalism is being reported. Of course, officer observations and statistics do not tell the entire story of a neighborhood.

    Have you good readers seen an increase in graffiti since late June?

    Wes
    [email protected]
    (213) 484-3400

  22. The contraband shop

    All I have to say is go to the Conraband Shop…….

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