Obscura Society LA & Cartwheel Art Tours: Brewery Arts Complex & Naud Graffiti Yard - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles

Obscura Society LA & Cartwheel Art Tours: Brewery Arts Complex & Naud Graffiti Yard

Join us for an immersive, urban art exploration lead by Cindy Schwarzstein, founder of Cartwheel Art Tours

Join Cartwheel Art Tours and Field Agent Erin Johnson as we explore the North Industrial District's Brewery Arts Complex and the Naud Graffiti Yard. 

The Brewery Arts Complex is composed of twenty-one former warehouses (including the Edison Electric Steam Power Plant and Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery) and is known as one of the oldest and largest art colonies in the world. Zigzagging through this vast industrial complex, we'll visit four select artists, Coop, Dave Lefner, Teale Hatheway and Kelly Reemtsen, in their home/studios for an intimate discussion about their work. (artist bios below)

Next we'll explore the Naud Graffiti Yard with author and historian, Steve Grody. View murals by contemporary artists Pixel Pancho and Woes along with graffiti artists Zes, Usek, Esk31, UGLAR, K2S/LOD (Cab, Prime, Cink), Gas, Charlie Crew, Cyber, LTS/KOG Crew, STK Crew, and more. 

Notes for this adventure:

- This is a two mile walking tour. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.

- Ages 12 and up. All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

- Rain or shine! This tour will run as scheduled unless we're expecting dangerous weather in which case we will cancel via email. Tickets will be refunded or transferred to a rescheduled date, depending on your availability.

- High heels, sandals, and flip flops are not recommended due to broken glass and mud in the graffiti yard.

- Our return time is estimated and subject to change.

- A portion of the proceeds will go to Cartwheel Art and the artists.  

- Photography is encouraged! Tag #atlasobscura #cartwheelarttours 

- A signed liability waiver is required from all attendees

Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final.



Coop (real name Chris Cooper) is a Los Angeles based hot rod artist who describes his occupation as “Insensitive Artiste”. His work consists primarily of barely clothed Bettie Page-style 1950s soft pornography and/or B-movie monsters, with the female characters often taking the role of “Devil-Women.” The image most often associated with his work is however slightly more tame: the face of a grinning devil with a smoking cigar clamped in its teeth.

Dave Lefner: As a native-born Angeleno, artist Dave Lefner, has always had a love for the city that surrounds him. From an early age, he embraced the sunny disposition of the Left Coast, as well as the California “car & motor inn” culture of mid-century optimism. In his work, he yearns for the day when the beauty of American design & craftsmanship was king. From his subject matter to his process, he pays his respects to a time gone by, but finds a way to re-invent its relevance in this contemporary world. For Lefner, the urban landscape, complete with its burnt-out, broken neon, faded and peeling movie posters and advertisements, the web of power-lines and telephone wires overhead, as well as the occasional graffiti piece, serve as the perfect inspiration for his detailed, very limited-edition, reduction linoleum block prints. Check out the documentary video about Dave and his very unusual process.

Teale HathewayHatheway approaches the practice of art in an investigative, experimental and research-minded way. A fourth generation Angeleno and an advocate of historic preservation, she finds Los Angeles to be an ideal source of subject matter for her paintings. Its history often being dismissed for its future, Hatheway hopes to bring attention to Los Angeles architecture by demonstrating to viewers their often unrealized, but always personal experiences of a city on the cusp of understanding its historical significance.

Kelley Reemtsen, is a Los Angeles based artist in the Brewery Arts Complex. The paintings for which she is best known are elaborate depictions of the role of the modern day woman. Strikingly feminine at first glance, with their figures adorned in fashionable vintage designer dresses and runway-worthy accessories, Reemtsen’s women are not simply pinup girls or arm candy. Rather, the women, while dressed to the nines, undertake household, and often traditionally masculine, tasks. The objects that they hold, from dishrags to wrenches to even chainsaws, range from being domestic to borderline menacing, and yet, as a body of work, answer the question as to the proper role of the contemporary woman. Reemtsen’s answer to that is quite simple – anything! Anonymous torsos, the women remain beautiful representations of the female with which anyone can identify. In terms of technique, Reemtsen’s work, with its thick impasto, represents a masterly handling of paint, which can be seen throughout her oeuvre of women, as well as the other subjects that she has tackled including detailed series of chairs and pills.