In a digital age dominated by diverted attention, what vital message or movement do you think is hiding in plain sight? Local Los Angeles pop artist Richie Velazquez—better known as the mastermind of digital death and grime left online by the moniker Deladeso—addresses this complex question in a gigantic multi-site art installation across Los Angeles, titled “______ is Hiding in Plain Sight.”
In his uniquely subversive style, Deladeso has repurposed a selection of traditionally “corporate” public walls in some of the busiest intersections in Los Angeles (which include Sunset and Highland in Hollywood, Figueroa and MLK in Downtown LA next to Banc of California Stadium, Runyon Canyon in the Hollywood Hills, and Lincoln and Venice in Del Mar, with other locations popping up in LA over the next month), and painted them with a distinctive, iconic camouflage pattern. Emblazoned upon each of these camouflage patterns is a simple statement written in white, which reads “_____ is Hiding in Plain Sight,” with the text revealing exactly what is hiding in plain sight playfully hidden behind the camouflage pattern itself.
An installation of this size and scale marks Deladeso’s most ambitious project to date. Deladeso is fluent in multiple forms of media, with past work including projects that range from digital video to illustrations, to collaborations, to merchandise, and physical installations. The artist has collaborated with brands such as Samsung, and General Mills’ Fruit Gushers in collaboration with Slushcult. Artists have praised Deladeso’s unique “grime style” of retouching pop art images with colorful and whimsical accents of colorful animated grime, which, according to Richie, is inspired by “the grime of the city” that defined much of his experience growing up in Riverside, CA. “______ is Hiding in Plain Sight” brings Deladeso full circle, as each mural wall provides him an opportunity to comment directly on the surfaces that inspired him as a child.
About this new project, Deladeso tells us, “There was no way I could have taken on a project of this size and scope without my amazing community of local artists to help me make this idea a reality. We get to live our dream—to help each other’s artistic visions a reality, and I’m so proud and thankful to have them in my corner, and to be in theirs. Special thanks to my PelaPapas production crew, Irvin Guzman (@xtofux), Roman Prado (@Romedawg7), Lazaro ‘Lazilla’ Sanchez (@anta52), Andrew Barsoum (@abars), and Bobby Roes (@pizzaboyzzz).”
In the spirit of this community, Deladeso invites you to be a part of this project. Take a photo in front of one of the walls mentioned above and post to Instagram with the hashtag #PLAINSIGHT—or, search and comment on those already posted on Instagram and contribute to the conversation. Let’s not let those around us get distracted by digital diversions. What do you think is hiding in plain sight?
For a list of mural locations, please visit Deladeso’s blog here.
Article by Dan Marks