The Swagabonds

The Artists

Donald Reese

Donald Reese aka The Flower Man is a legendary character in Skid Row. But don’t try to put a single label on him, because Donald wears many hats. He plays the drums, tells stories and dresses sharp. Not to mention his amazing handmade flowers that he's been selling on the streets for decades. He learned this craft from his mentor James, a man he met at a club in Crenshaw in the 80’s. The Swagabonds' design - a flower embroidered on a piece of bandana fabric aka "A rose from the concrete" - is an homage to Donald’s craft and a tribute to the West Coast culture as personified in the 90s by Tupac Shakur.

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Gary Brown

Gary Brown was born in Louisiana in 1952. He moved to Los Angeles in the 80's and has since become a prominent figure in the Skid Row community. Brown is a multi-disciplinary artist. He's a jazz musician, with a soft spot for playing saxophone in the streets of Downtown LA or in Gladys Park for his friends. He's also a talented painter. Every week, he goes to Lamp Art Studio in Skid Row to work his craft. There, his cubism-influenced canvasses proudly hang on the wall. The Swagabonds has decided to adapt one of these canvasses, turning a colorful crowd of faces into a black on black design. Gary Brown has chosen to name it:
“Planet Blues”.

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