Graffiti artist and businessman makes his case for aerosol art

Many Echo Park residents have expressed concern about the opening of Montana LA., a graffiti-art supply store stocked with thousands of cans of German-made spray paint. But Risk, a graffiti artist and one of the owners of the Sunset Boulevard store,  said his business is about promoting and supporting an art form – not tagging, according to his video slide show created by KPCC.


  1. He simultaneously won me and lost me after “My name’s Risk…”

  2. Sorry, spray painting freeway overpasses and subway cars is not art. It’s destruction of property and degrading the quality of life.

  3. ruby, if graffiti degrades the quality of your life to such an extent, why not move someplace where it doesn’t exist? idaho is beautiful and verdant. los angeles is an ugly, dirty place, whether there is writing on the walls or not. graffiti is and will always be a part of the urban fabric. deal with it.

  4. Why is the standard response from people who do illegal and annoying things that affect the public always resort to ‘Move if you don’t like it”?

    Not all urban cities have to be trash pits. Ever been to Tokyo? One of the most populated cities in the world? Also one of the cleanest. You won’t see trash on the streets, gum on the sidewalks, or graffiti on the buildings. It is possible to live in a city and still behave like civilized people. But, that requires thinking about people other than yourself.

  5. I live just down the street from this place, and my driveway has in the past year been tagged numerous times, cleaned, then tagged again. The graffiti isn’t art (which isn’t to say that graffiti can’t be art, or that spray paint is inherently bad), it’s a marking of territory. Fights break out over these markings, people are injured or killed. To open a shop that sells nothing but spray paint in Echo Park is so tone deaf to the concerns of the community it’s mind boggling.

    It should also be noted that before opening, someone tagged the Montana Store’s storefront. Guess what was removed less than 24 hours later? Hypocritical? Sure.

    I don’t think a store like this is geared towards taggers, and I doubt the presence of the store will cause an increase in graffiti or gang violence. The point is, to open such a store in Echo Park is amazingly callous and ignorant of community issues.

  6. i hate tagging with a passion. it keeps our neighborhood down, it looks terrible, and i hate gangs. go back to your rented apts/homes, and quit writing your name everywhere with horrible penmanship.

    now that i’ve ranted, i will say that i doubt much that any gang members will buy their spray paint at this store. prices are just too high, and that’s that.

    but this store won’t last, so don’t even worry!

  7. and jakey is somehow even more obvious than the owners of this store. i rent and still don’t want spray paint on the driveway. i imagine you probably don’t have to worry about such things living up the hill or wherever else you property owners live.

  8. obvious should read oblivious…

  9. You’re all idiots, whenever a talented artist gets recognized you all are the first ones to say, Ohh he’s from my neighborhood, I see him around all the time, I’ve lived there forever.. blasebla, When you don’t even know. Graffiti artist most likely have more to offer our community then you do.



  10. I had graffiti (not graffiti art) removed last week, and within three days the driveway of the property which I rent was tagged again. This isn’t art, it’s territorial pissings. I have no illusion that the Montana store is selling spray paint to taggers, and that everyone involved legitimately is making art. My point is that in a community which has seen real violence caused by graffiti, opening a store to just sell spray paint is to be oblivious and insensitive to those issues. I’m not too concerned, eventually trust funds for everyone involved will run out, right?

  11. It’s funny how all you IGNORANT people criticize this store for selling paint when their local store’s such as Osh & Walmart are the #1 supplyer of paint to graffiti artist’s. All the garbage & ugly tagg’s you see in your neighborhood ARE NOT DONE BY GRAFFITI ARTIST’S ,they are children giving this art a bad reputation. Some of them use Montana but more than likely they use cheap Walmart paint. This store supply’s real graffiti artist’s who have talent, with high quality paint that they use for those beautiful mural’s everyone likes to see and take pictures buy. TAGGERS ARE NOT GRAFFITI ARTIST’S. So dont treat them all the same.

  12. FYI b4 u all go on I feel u should walk into House of Spirits and ask for a can a spray paint. It has been available for the asking.

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