Client: LA Metro Arts
Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Completion date: 2022
Principal Transportation Planner, Arts
LA Metropolitan Transportation Authority
transfer works to LED lightboxes
LA Metro Arts considered the station itself as a blank canvas. They envisioned the art as placemaking and there was no call to create imagery that would complement the building design. But it was of great importance to propose a theme that would resonate with metro riders and visually tell a story that reflected some aspect of the city of Los Angeles.
Five paintings converted to digital files and installed in LED lightboxes in the Historic Broadway Station of the LA Metrorail system. The station is under construction and the artwork installation is scheduled for November of 2022.The works, as seen in the architectural rendering, will be enlarged to 5' by 7' each, separated by 6" for a total span of 37 feet. This is an increase of four times the size of the original works, which are in oils on canvas. The city of Los Angeles is purchasing the use of the digital files, while the original works and the copyright are retained by the artist.
The collaboration process for this project will be largely technical. The paintings will be photographed and processed professionally to the standards established by Metro Arts. They will undertake the enlargement and installation of the works in the station. The only direction given during the interview phase of the commission was that whatever subject I chose, the works should “pop” as they put it.
LA is justly famous for a movie industry that is international in influence. But there is another level of performance and creativity that occurs locally and anonymously on the streets of LA. Singers, musicians, dancers, dress-up superheroes, counterfeit celebrities, living statues and buskers of every sort take to public spaces to enliven the city. Some may have illusions of fame, but most, I suspect, are just there because they love to perform and share their talents, great or small. My work presents an array of these performers in iconic locations that move from east to west, from Pershing Square to Echo Park Lake to Union Station to Hollywood Boulevard and finally to the Venice Boardwalk. These images play with the language of painting itself and are therefore not illustrations. They are rather subjective evocations of a world of performance and artistry that, even while rarely credited, contribute to the richness of the city.