Why is Larry Johnson a quintessentially L.A. artist? Because he’s not only “of” Los Angeles (He was born in Long Beach and lives in Los Angeles), he and the city have become one. He has integrated his identity of being an Angeleno into his art, creating work that is “of” and “about” Los Angeles.

This exhibit spans his career up to this point (Although he took a break in 2001.). It covers his work beginning in 1982, when he was creating a type of “pop art” by taking pieces of text that already existed in print and putting them back together in a way that created new subtext and meaning, which had never been the original writer’s intent. The exhibit shows how, over the years, Johnson grew more adept at exposing the brutal truth ... the kind that’s always there, lurking in the shadows, but the kind that most people want to pretend doesn’t even exist.

One of the last pieces that’s included in the newest section of the exhibit is worth checking out because it shows when Johnson began to use that wit of his in a more fun and entertaining way; but never once does he lose the edge. Johnson created the piece in 1995, but it seems to be very fitting now considering everything that’s happening in California today.

This piece, Untitled (Something Quite Atrocious), is obviously a play on the famous Mary Poppins song, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” but Johnson’s version is “Supercaliforniafaggotexpialidocious.”

Hammer Museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. For more information, visit hammer.ucla.edu.