Los Angeles is—or at least it was—the mural capital of the United States, possibly the world, but since 2002 it has been illegal to create murals on private property. If you currently own a piece of land in this city you better think twice before enhancing it with your own artwork. (That’s why Chris Brown was recently cited for a trio of colorful, 8-foot-tall monsters he spraypainted onto a wall of his Hollywood Hills home.) Today, all that could change. The Los Angeles City Council will vote on a new Mural Ordinance that would once again legalize murals on private property. Nearly every arts organization that has come out in support of re-legalizing murals but stringent opposition to rescinding the ban comes from certain neighborhoods.
A coffee table book weighing as much as a VW probably couldn’t encompass the full scope of L.A.’s street art, but here are five great murals to whet your appetite for a potential mural renaissance.