Study for The Great Western (blue)
2016
acrylic / birch panel
12 1/2" x 13 1/2"

I was born in Southern California and spent my early years there, so certainly there's memory of the place that gives significance to my frequent visits since then.

From the air, and depending on the weather, Los Angeles appears through a tonal and dusty terracotta filter to be an expanse of blocks, of street grids which overlay and define the topography. The city spreads in a desert basin running from the mountains and slouched hills to the sea, not unlike a vast version of Picasso's views of Horta de Ebro/de San Joan.

From street level- or the mast of a Google Earth Prius- the city is still horizontal and linear and defined through simple, boxy forms. Signs, billboards, and palm trees provide spindly vertical jabs. Colors of buildings and structures are revealed. They are bright, but in need of frequent replacement, as they are baked in a veneer of exhaust soot and fine urban/desert grime, quickly faded by the sun.

The light here is bright, but hard. This quality enhances the intense interplay and contrasts between the (often seedy) (modernist) geometries and colors of the built and the greater natural and geologic canvas on which this interaction occurs, and within which our activities take place. Street level is, or can be, human level, but scale here is still a relative thing. The blue, orange and red buses. Solitary bicyclists in their street/work clothes commuting to their jobs in kitchens, parking lots, car washes. Construction projects. Traffic cones. Drug deals in back alleys. A bus stop in the shade of a tire store.
Los Angeles Paintings & Drawings 2010-2017
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