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Arts and Entertainment

Photos: One Photographer's Trippy And Stunning 'Light Paintings'

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A street artist and photographer who goes by the moniker 2wenty has been going around different parts of Los Angeles shooting his beautiful light paintings—and they're pretty amazing.

Armed with an LED light and using long exposures on film, digital and Polaroid cameras, the 33-year-old artist, who was born and raised in the Valley, has been deftly drawing images of haunting figures (that seem to resemble humans, robots and aliens) paired with breathtaking nightscapes of open roads, mountainous regions, and the ocean. He takes snapshots anywhere from La Cañada to Malibu and outside our city in Santa Barbara. None of his pictures are Photoshopped.

Some of his photographs are paired with words and phrases (like "Stay the Night" or "Thanks for the Memories"). 2wenty talked to LAist about the meaning behind the words: "I don’t feel like I operate normally emotionally. All the quotes and stuff and words come from real things and emotions I’m feeling. It’s not me trying to be inspirational to people—it’s kind of me venting what I’m feeling."

2wenty is known for his "Social Cigarettes" street art that popped up in 2011 that noted the addictiveness of Facebook, by depicting a pack of cigarettes with Facebook emblazoned across it. Although he still does street art every now and then, he became more involved in photography a year after he started his street artwork. His ex-girlfriend was a photographer and taught him in the late 2000s how to shoot with a long exposure.

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"Ever since then, I’ve been crazy intrigued and [wondering], 'Why isn't everyone doing this?' 2wenty said. "It was so crazy to me."

Light painting is like second nature to him now that he's done it so many times. He noted that his muscle memory allows him to do it with ease, and he's memorized reference points on how not to write words over himself in the photos.

Although he's done a number of group art shows, he did his first solo one in May at Gallery Brown in West Hollywood.

You can find more of his photographs here on his Flickr page and Instagram.