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.