• John Saldana, who goes by WreckCreation, adds detail to his canvas.
  • Art Battle attendees watch as competitors paint, dance to DJ music and Instagram their favorite artists.
  • Silberstein works to complete his painting around the 12 minute mark.
  • Art Battle provides competitors with paint, palettes, easles and canvases.
  • Guerro ties on her artist smock.
  • Megan Hall, a street artist who emulates Keith Harrington, prepares her canvas for the art battle.
  • Michelle Guerro enters the Art Battle armed with her palette, headphones and blotting papers.
  • Anna Basher, a Los Angeles-based artist prepares for her first Art Battle completion.
  • Ben Silberstein, takes his name tag from his easel at Art Battle Los Angeles.

Armed with acrylic paint, brushes, palette knives and other non-mechanical implements, 16 artists create paintings on the clock in a monthly competition at ExchangeLA called Art Battle.  

“It’s a really interesting challenge,” said Ben Silberstein, a full time artist originally from Manhattan. “I don’t know exactly what for sure I’m going to paint but have a general sense of the colors I want and will see where that takes me.” 

Silberstein competed in the first round and said he felt “relieved” and “happy” when time was called. He named his piece “Play My Game.” 

The evening consisted of two competitive rounds followed by a final four showdown. The winner, Noemi Barajas, determined by audience vote secures a position in the L.A City Finals. Painters work against a backdrop of  live electronic music, provided by NKRIOT, or DJ sets spun by local artists. 

“Most people say that they’ve never seen anything like this before and didn’t know what to expect but really loved it,” said Dustin Treinen, producer of Art Battle L.A. “The creative scene out here is really thriving.”  

Competitions also take place in Brazil and multiple cities across Europe, Canada and the United States. Artists apply for free and spectators can purchase advance tickets online. 

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