With all due respects to other urban art Meccas, found in cities like New York, London and Paris, there is hardly more vibrant and more influential gallery scene than the one in California. All of the ten art galleries on the following list feature top notch artworks created by both emerging and renowned urban and street artists, and firmly stand as hot spots where those who visit them can have a glimpse at fresh, cutting edge art. Join us on our short walking tour through the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Culver City, as we visit the ten most influential galleries that spread the love of contemporary urban art across the United States’ west coast. So don’t forget your lunch box, ‘be sure to wear some flowers in your hair’, and we’ll show you the best street art galleries.
Soze Gallery - Vibrant
Soze Gallery is a renowned Los Angeles based gallery, owned and directed by an extremely gifted art consultant and art dealer Toowee Kao, a natural art business talent and an extremely passionate supporter of young contemporary artists. Putting all of her skills to the important task of innovative promotion of fresh, ground-braking urban art, Kao has successfully turned her Soze Gallery into a trend-setting meeting place for the west coast community of urban art lovers and collectors. There one can meet the future of urban art, displayed for everyone and anyone to see, as Soze Gallery and Toowee Kao keep pushing forward with impressive results, seen both locally and globally. It is no surprise that the whole world has its eyes set firmly on Soze Gallery, in order to keep up with the vibrant, always evolving world of urban art.
Known Gallery - Minimalist
Known Gallery is a stunning gallery space situated in the hip Fairfax area of Los Angeles, and a major place not to be missed by any urban art lover lucky enough to find themselves in LA. Strongly supported by RVCA, streetwear company deeply rooted in contemporary street art and skateboard subculture, and with the overwhelming passion for urban and street art, Known Gallery has over the years established itself as one of the most influential galleries exclusively dedicated to showing groundbreaking works of the contemporary street artist, including, among many others, such names as Haze, Risk and Retna. Known Gallery’s aesthetic is distinctively minimalist, and combined with its unique approach to artist representation, the gallery allows the quality of its artists and their artworks to speak for themselves.
Fabien Castanier Gallery - Influential
Fabien Castanier Gallery, situated in the famous Culver City Art District, is a renowned contemporary art gallery with a focus on urban art, photography and fine art created by both emerging and established artists from around the globe, and specially dedicated to introducing new artists who previously have not had a chance to exhibit their works to a California based art audience. Opened in Los Angeles in 2002 by a contemporary art aficionado Fabien Castanier, a Parisian who had left his job in the film industry in order to follow his strong love for art, Fabien Castanier Gallery quickly gained a reputation of a highly influential place that every contemporary urban lover has to visit.
Thinkspace Gallery - Intimate
Thinkspace is an awesome and intimate art gallery, situated in downtown Culver City, on the corner of Washington and Hargis. Opened in 2005 in Los Angeles, and moved to Culver City in 2009, Thinkspace gallery has always been passionately dedicated to showcasing fresh and affordable artworks created by new generations of contemporary urban artists and providing them with a platform through which they can reach a wide audience of art lovers and art collectors. Standing as a strong institutional advocate of emerging artists, Thinkspace became an important and irreplaceable, a must visit gallery with an important and community oriented mission of supporting the sustainable long term growth of new contemporary art talents and their visions.
White Walls - Respected
White Walls is one of the most respected San Francisco based art galleries. Since its opening in 2003 it was steadily gaining impeccable reputation as the premier Bay Area place for urban and contemporary art lovers, strongly dedicated to showcasing the most progressive and culturally significant, cutting edge contemporary art. In addition to that, White Walls gallery is also a tremendous supporter of local nonprofit organizations as it regularly hosts charity auctions aimed at raising funds to help San Francisco’s poorest residents. As of 2013 White Walls, and its sister Shooting Gallery, moved to the historic 886 Geary building, an epic and breathtakingly gorgeous venue of modern architectural elegance, which features a ‘white walls’ aesthetics of a contemporary art gallery.
1AM - Educational
San Francisco’s 1AM (First Amendment) is a renowned urban art gallery and a truly special place, strongly dedicated to its profound mission to preach and defend the freedom of speech through showcasing the best from street and urban art. Each month 1AM gallery organizes its spectacular themed exhibitions featuring both local and international artists, but it goes much further as it tries to educate its audience through graffiti history classes, walking tours in search of street art around San Francisco, and uniques hands-on mural experiences. Since its opening in 2008, 1AM gallery and its extremely dedicated production team, have successfully grown to become one of the strongest foundations supporting the vibrant San Francisco street art culture.
Shooting Gallery - Lowbrow
Situated in San Francisco’s historic 886 Geary building in Tenderloin district, Shooting Gallery was established by its owner and curator, respected contemporary art collector Justin Giarla in 2003, with the intention to open the space which will offer a platform for lowbrow artists to show their art. Since the gallery opening, Giarla has gone even further and started his own publishing company, expanding White Walls and Shooting Gallery into a massive, state of the art gallery space, which features two enormous project spaces. Over the years Shooting Gallery grew to become one of the leading art galleries specialized in showcasing leading artists in pop surrealism, figurative realism, and color abstraction. It also constantly improves its exceptional reputation by participating in renowned international art fairs and hosting annual fundraising events for local nonprofit organizations.
FIFTY24SF Gallery - Innovative
San Francisco based FIFTY24SF Gallery, established in 1998, owned and operated by Upper Playground, famous art and fashion company, widely recognized for their clothing designed by some of the finest urban and street artists, is a renowned gallery that consistently executes highly innovative shows which usually encompass complex ideas and themes. FIFTY24SF is passionately dedicated to showcasing works created by some of the best contemporary artists from around the world, and it provides an unique space where artists, usually also featured on Upper Playground’s fashion items, create and showcase their physical artworks in a raw, studio environment. Shortly after its opening, FIFTY24SF gallery broke out globally and now hosts up to twelve shows a year in their venue, but also exhibits its exceptional collection in galleries worldwide.
Corey Helford Gallery - Ground-breaking
Corey Helford Gallery, founded in 2006 in Culver City, California, is a world renowned gallery dedicated to highlighting international figurative and pop surreal artists worldwide, highly praised for its standout exhibitions showcasing the finest emerging and noted contemporary artists, working in genres of new figurative painting, pop surrealism, graffiti and street art. Established by Bruce and Jan Corey Helford, Corey Helford Gallery quickly established a well known reputation that continuously draws huge crowds wishing to see the next super stars of the art world. With its two exceptional venues situated in the Culver City Art District, original Corey Helford Gallery and CHG Circa Gallery, opened in 2012, it is, without a doubt, one of the hottest spots to see ground breaking contemporary art.
Guy Hepner - Trendsetting
Guy Hepner is a premier Los Angeles based gallery, specialized in cutting edge contemporary art, especially pop art, neo-pop art, urban art and high fashion photography. Originally founded in London over a decade ago, Guy Hepner is today housed in gallery spaces in West Hollywood and Bal Harbour. The gallery represents some of the world’s most famous photographers, and has been long involved in the acquisition of many of the most iconic images of the last decade. Guy Hepner has been widely known as a trend setting gallery, greatly respected for continually searching for and identifying new, emerging artists and also has been credited as the important step in the career development of several now-major artists.
Everything you need to know about art galleries is one click away with a free sign up for My Widewalls!