Downtown Las Vegas is home to an impressive range of street art, both recent and more established. Although many of these murals were commissioned as part of the annual Life is Beautiful festival, others were created simply to let passersby enjoy the artistry and ingenuity Las Vegas. While Downtown is a great neighborhood to live in if you’re looking for urban living, nightlife, and cafes, it’s also a great place to live if you love street art.
Although Downtown has dozens upon dozens of murals (not to mention several rooftops painted with the names of previous Life is Beautiful acts, which you can see from Google Maps, here are the most well-known ones around Downtown.
Murals by D*Face
Commissioned in 2013 for Life is Beautiful, this mural depicts a man whose face is part-skull, with the words, “I gave her my heart and she left me for...” The mural covers the entire east wall of a motel across the street from the El Cortez Hotel and Casino, and it’s an excellent piece of street art to take photos in front of—just make sure it’s at a distance so you can capture its full impact.
D*Face also painted “Love Forever” on Place and 7th Street in honor of the 2014 festival, as well as a mural on the side of the Plaza Hotel and Casino depicting a terrified woman peeking out from the side of the building. D*Face is also known for “Peacemaker” at 899 Fremont Street, an image of the word “Peace” discharging from a black-and-gold gun.
3D Mural By Felipe Pantone
On Ogden Avenue and 7th Avenue, you’ll find Felipe Pantone’s mural, a contemporary work of art that includes geometric features, a black-and-white background, and a contrasting rainbow shape that crowns it. Life is Beautiful commissioned this work for the 2016 festival.
Mural by Bicicleta Sem Freio
On the east side of The Market between Ogden Avenue and Stewart Street is the brightly colored, vibrant mural by Bicicleta Sem Freio, a trio of artists from Brazil. Although this mural borders a parking lot, it’s a popular site for photos Downtown.
“Scratch and Win” by Ana Maria Ortiz
On 7th Avenue between Ogden Avenue and Stewart Street is Ana Maria Ortiz’s “Scratch and Win.” Commissioned for the 2013 Life is Beautiful festival, the mural depicts a metal bird that’s more machine than creature, with patriotic colors and stars emblazoned on its neck. With skeletal talons and long, thin legs, the bird is on the side of the Commonwealth, a popular bar at 525 Fremont Street. Ortiz also painted “Full Moon,” a mural which also depicts birds in a cosmic landscape, for the 2015 Life is Beautiful festival.
“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Ruben Sanchez
At Fremont Street, across from the mural by Bicicleta Sem Freio, is “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” which is named after the famous book by Hunter S. Thompson and inspired by the aesthetic of the film. For Life is Beautiful in 2015, Sanchez created this mural, a cubist masterpiece that depicts well-known Vegas symbols like the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign in Paradise along with the poker chips that both The Strip and Downtown are known for. Whether close-up or faraway, this mural makes for a great Instagram photo.
“The Cycle of Civilization” by Zio Ziegler
Near 7th Avenue and Ogden Avenue is Zio Zegler’s “The Cycle of Civilization,” a black-and-white mural that pops against a turquoise background. With subtle, warm-hued details, this is one of the most visually striking murals in the neighborhood. Created for the 2013 Life is Beautiful festival, this mural is among the most prominent in Downtown.