Graffiti Artists Turn Abandoned Los Angeles High-Rise into Canvas


In the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the unfinished luxury high-rise complex, Oceanwide Plaza, has become a canvas for graffiti artists. The 27-floor edifice, which has been sitting idle since 2019, was vandalized last week, drawing attention to the city’s ongoing struggle with urban vandalism.


An Unfinished Project Turned Art Canvas

Once envisioned as a bustling mixed-use space with retail shops, a hotel, and luxury apartments, the Oceanwide Plaza skyscraper development lies unfinished and desolate. The project came to a standstill in 2019 when the developer ran out of funds. With its deserted facade, it became an attractive target for over a dozen graffiti artists who sprayed their vibrant, bold lettering across the building’s glass windows.

A Reflection of Urban Vandalism


The incident is a stark reminder of the persistent issue of vandalism in urban landscapes. The artists managed to evade the sparse security personnel on site, illustrating the broader concerns about the maintenance and security of abandoned constructions in the city. Despite the involvement of multiple individuals, only two were arrested by the police for trespassing and spray-painting.

The City’s Response

In response to the incident, Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León introduced a motion to remove the graffiti from the buildings and bolster security in the area. The city officials are now working with the property management and City Council district to secure the property and address the graffiti issue. While the city views the act as a breach of property rights, the artists and their supporters argue they are bringing color and life to the otherwise blighted urban landscape.

Captured by a drone, the footage of the graffiti-covered high-rise has sparked a vigorous debate about the balance between artistic expression and legal boundaries. While the event has drawn attention to the abandoned Oceanwide Plaza, it also underscores the need for a comprehensive approach to urban vandalism and the management of idle constructions in the city.

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