The first people to successfully paint the town red spent more time haphazardly assembling scaffolding and arguing over who got to be the foreman than enjoying the results. Sling pigment more freely with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a beginner's graffiti-art class at Art Rebel in Sherman Oaks (a $60 value). Classes take place Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m.
Beneath walls festooned with statues, murals, and prints, the Art Rebel's crew of painters injects opportunities for creative experience into everyday existence. Pupils lawfully indulge in illicit artistry during Graffiti Art Rebel 101, a 60-minute introduction to the theories and lore of tagging. A comprehensive history of exquisite defacement kicks off classes, offering a behind-the-scenes peek at John Hancock's propensity for scrawling his name everywhere and the forces that eventually led to the creation of street-side masterpieces. Instructors illustrate techniques—such as bubble letters, block letters, soft funk style, and wild style—according to student inclinations. Patrons then set pencil to paper and practice sketching figures originally formulated to embellish a favorite overpass or train car full of honey.
"One man's trash is another man's treasure" may be an overused saying to some, but to Art Rebel's crew of painters, it's a mantra. The instructors believe in dreaming up creative solutions to help the environment, and that includes teaching their students how to transform discarded items into masterpieces during eco-art classes. Nontoxic, eco-friendly paints grace paper and canvases in a variety of sessions with different themes, from graffiti-art to cartooning. Elsewhere, beautification meets youth outreach when Art Rebel's team teaches children how to paint public works and encrust their favorite foursquare court with bottle caps.