Street artist Jay Shells to return to L.A. with new rap-lyric signs

New York artist Jason Shelowitz (known at Jay Shells) with his work.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

New York artist Jason Shelowitz (a.k.a. Jay Shells) took Los Angeles by storm in December when he hung 45 signs throughout L.A. County featuring rap lyrics by famous hip-hop musicians — Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Notorious B.I.G, among them.

Each lyric made reference to the location where it was hung, like the Fairfax Avenue sign reading: “Bun B the OG like ’95 Air Max / Neon green outta Flight Club off Fairfax.”

Most of the signs have since been stolen, Shells told L.A. Times Metro reporter Matt Stevens.


INTERACTIVE: Discover songs of L.A.

Still, undeterred by street-art enthusiasts with sticky fingers, it looks as if Shells is returning to L.A. — and there’s a gallery show in the works.

Shells has plans to hang another round of signs, six in all, around L.A. later this month.

Gallery 1988 on Melrose Avenue — which focuses on emerging artists and works that have pop-culture themes — plans to exhibit some of Shells’ limited-edition signs in April as well as photographs of the signs before anyone has a chance to sneak off with them.

Hopefully, that won’t happen, given Shells’ sincere intentions with the project.

“I was thinking [the signs] would be a hidden gift for people who pay attention to their surroundings,” Shells told The Times. “I wanted it to be something where if you happened to see it, you’d be like, ‘That’s … awesome!’ — and just take a minute.”


Woody Allen to team with Placido Domingo in Madrid

Planned Reagan sculpture strides toward the land of myth-making

Cornelius Gurlitt, owner of suspected Nazi art stash, launches website