Skid Row Artist Hopes to Inspire Change With Graffiti

On the topic of how to fix homelessness in Los Angeles, many words have been said. But graffiti artist Skid Robot is hoping that his illustrious art will instead do all the talking. 

Through what he calls the "Living Art Project," the anonymous artist is using his graffiti talents to raise awareness about homelessness.

"The Living Art Project is my vision of using the power of art and design as the solution to the housing crisis," he said in an email to NBC4. "I truly believe with the power of art and ideas we can change people's perception of reality, and with this power we can change the world we live in."

Describing his work as "an artistic movement that seeks to solve the social issue of homelessness through the power of art and design," Skid Robot is filling the streets of LA with his beautiful and powerful paintings. 

From scenic nature backgrounds, to royal beds and even Mount Rushmore, Skid Robot is bringing an infusion of life and color into an otherwise dark place. 

"When it all began I had a deep feeling that this was the start of something huge," he said. "The reactions I received from the friends that I first shared the photos with demonstrated the true power of the art."

The artist behind the movement said that it was his girlfriend who inspired him to do something different one night by painting a thought bubble with money over a homeless person. From there, he went to great lengths to create inspiring images behind the many homeless people of Skid Row.

"By sharing their story we can help society view the homeless problem as a human issue rather than a statistical one," he said.

His latest offerings have included props to create not just impressive two-dimensional portraits, but rather eye-popping three-dimensional stages. Skid Robot said completing an art piece takes anywhere from two minutes to an hour, sometimes having to hurry it to not get caught by police.

"I've had some really close calls with the law," he said. "The graffiti isn't the real problem, the lack of affordable housing is. I'm just shining a light on an issue that the elected officials would rather ignore."

Skid Robot knows he may be breaking the law, but he looks at it as a necessary one to make progress.

"That is the paradox of what I do," Skid Robot said in a video posted online. "It is a crime addressing a bigger crime."

On Instagram, he has thousands of followers that have been captivated by the project's powerful images. However, Skid Robot hopes his art elicits real change, not just social media praise. 

"What needs to come out of this to make an actual change would be massive public support," he said, "for not only The Living Art Project, but any housing solution that is demanding for immediate action from the elected officials to get people off the streets."

Skid Robot has also set up a profile on generosity.com, which includes his video and a platform for donors to give money to the cause. He has also sold T-shirts to raise funds and buy tents and shelter for the homeless. 

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