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Meet the Street Artist Spray Painting Faces and Forgotten Landscapes

Christina Angelina brings expressive faces to unlikely landscapes.

Wynwood, Miami, FL. All images courtesy the artist. All photos by Jay Kantor.

For anyone visiting Los Angeles, Venice Beach is a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian boardwalk stringing together a motley group of vendors, bodybuilders, psychics, medical marijuana advocates, and other offbeat characters. For Christina Angelina, however, the beachfront tourist attraction has always been home. The artist describes her spray painted creations as "expressive, large-scale, figurative, site-specific, public work," mostly populated with photorealistic portraits of faces reflecting a range of emotions such as pathos, fear, hope, and serenity.


With a studio still based in Venice, Angelina continues to draw inspiration from her hometown, as well as from other lesser-known, far-flung destinations far off the beaten path. A prolific street artist, Angelina created more than 80 murals last year alone, and since graduating UCLA with a BFA in Fine Art back in 2008, she's painted murals in Asia, South America, Europe, and all over the United States. Angelina is particularly attracted to locations with a unique spirit and strong creative energy like Venice, as well as more isolated locales like the Salton Sea.

Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Angelina's artworks have evolved from the smaller-scale wheatpastes she created as a teenager and young adult, into the large-scale spray-painted murals they are today. She describes her own painting style as "physical and performative," and the process is fairly straightforward and unencumbered, beginning with Angelina's onsite arrival where she creates her design, followed by relentless, nonstop painting until she's completely done. "My work is emotional, intuitive, reflective, and I try to always consider the location, both aesthetically and energetically," she says. "I am mostly inspired by personal experience: people and places and artwork that I come in contact with."

Slab City, Niland, CA (collaboration with Ease One)

As a street artist, Angelina strongly believes her type of work is important to society because it has the potential to reach and inspire much larger, more eclectic audiences. She sees urban art as a type of mirror that serves to remind audiences that absolutely anything is possible. For Angelina, painting a mural can be a liberating experience with plenty of room for boundless creativity. "It’s done without limitations [and] rules," Angelina says. "It’s completely free."


Wynwood, Miami, FL (collaboration with Fanakapan)

Wynwood, Miami, FL (collaboration with Fanakapan)

Mar Vista, Los Angeles, CA (Collaboration with DJ Neff)

Arts District, Downtown Los Angeles, CA (collaboration with Fanakapan)

Salton City, CA

Hollywood, CA (collaboration with Kevin Ledo)

East Jesus, Niland, CA

Follow Christina Angelina on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and visit her website here.


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