March Madness: Street art competition hits the streets of L.A.

In what’s being billed as a Fight Club-style March Madness-esque street art battle has broken out in L.A.

 A Fight Club-style March Madness-esque street art battle will hit the streets of L.A. come April. (Photo courtesy of Arantxa Treve)
A Fight Club-style March Madness-esque street art battle will hit the streets of L.A. come April. (Photo courtesy of Arantxa Treve)

And, come October, a street art champion will reign supreme over the City of Angels.

What is being called by the laist as a Fight Club-style street art competition with March-Madness bracket play will see 16 “teams” fight for supremacy between now and October, when the champion will be crowned.

“It’s called Secret Walls, and it takes place at their L.A. venue/battle arena, START Los Angeles in West Adams. The team behind it says it’s like an art version of Fight Club meets The Warriors, with each side making art on a giant white wall that’s then evaluated by judges and cheers of the crowd using a decibel meter. 

Here’s how it works: Using only black markers or acrylic paint – no  color, and no white paint to cover up mistakes – artists get 90 minutes to create their masterpieces. Additionally, the artists must create art “on the spot.” No reference materials are allowed and, mistakes must be incorporated in the piece and made into something beautiful.

Based on a program that first started in London over 10 years ago by the-then known Secret Wars, artist styles have ranged from graffiti to fine art, to abstract, to comic book and character illustration.

Competition in L.A. for 10 of the 16 spots was quite intense.

Over 300 applicants were vying for the opportunity to face off artist v. artist and against six “all-star” artists that include bigger names and artists who Secret Walls has worked with in the past. Battles will be held at their L.A. venue every month through the finals.

Since moving from London to the Harvard Heights area (just south of Koreatown) three years ago, Secret Walls has done shows in about 100 cities and 50 countries, with between 60-80 shows a year worldwide, according to reports. The majority are now in the U.S., with L.A. getting 10 to 15 shows over the course of 2019.

The big dream for Secret Walls: they’d love this competition to be an Olympic sport. While it may sound far-fetched, it was noted that video gaming are being considered for the Olympics as organizers try to maintain its relevance.

 The next street art event is April 6, featuring the first Round 1 battles. You can watch for more info on upcoming Secret Walls events on their social media. And if you think you have what it takes to be one of the artistic competitors, they’re always taking applications online. (laist)