When Spray Cans Meet Quill Pens

What Do You Get When You Introduce L.A.-Area Graffiti Artists to 400-Year-Old Books?

When Johnny Cash covered Nine Inch Nails, he revealed the beautiful dissonance of kindred spirits from two different worlds interpreting a single piece of art. “Scratch,” a new exhibition opening tomorrow at the ESMoA art laboratory in El Segundo, puts that same sensibility on display through the work of street artists inspired by rare books from the 15th to 18th centuries.

In 2012, art collector Ed Sweeney noted that the street artists he knew often carried black books filled with ideas for and drafts of their own art, plus tags by …