When Los Angeles native Alfonso Gonzalez Jr., 33, lived in Boyle Heights, he saw an eye-catching mural on the façade of a liquor store. “It got tagged over by a gang, then painted over again by the liquor store owner...It became all these layers,” he says. The artist was already in the habit of photography—he grew up painting graffiti, and graffiti writers document their own work. Gonzalez Jr. has long been something of a flâneur, observing his city on long walks. “But since it was so close to my house, I would always say, ‘Well, I’ll just get a photo of it later.’” Then it was gone.
Alfonso Gonzalez Jr. Writes Love Letters in Spray Paint
The Los Angeles-native's works depict a tagged, stained, richly-inscribed Los Angeles—and he wants you to paint over them.