Graffiti Artist Humanizes the Homeless by Painting Their Dreams

Skid Robot's art pulls the homeless into new worlds

Photo: Courtesy Skid Robot/Instagram

Skid Robot is a graffiti artist based in Los Angeles. His latest art project, though, takes on a decidedly different side of the city than the one that most commonly appears in pop culture.

He brings the city’s homeless population into focus by visualizing and depicting their dreams on their surroundings. A wheelchair-bound man sits on a castle wall; another’s makeshift tent structure is transported into the wilderness.

Skid Robot talks to each of his subjects, asking them for their story and background. J.W., below, is an artist originally from Florida. Rather than food or money, he asked for art supplies.

The encounters have been mixed. Skid Robot told VICE that he had a woman pull a shank (or homemade knife) on him once, “so that got kind of real,” he says. But most of his subjects are happy to “participate,” given that Skid Robot usually offers a care package of snacks and toiletries.

Overall, the artist told VICE, his work is “not only changing the context in which people look at the issue of homelessness, but also changing how people feel within themselves … by taking something heartbreaking that is overlooked as nothing of importance and artistically transforming it into something with meaning that people can enjoy and be inspired by.”

Skid Robot also has a Tumblr where you can view his art, and he has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to travel the U.S. with his work and provide care packages for the people he meets along the way.

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