Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Standard Painting

I have to admit I love that title because while it's perfectly true it sounds perversely arrogant. In some ways the painting does fit a standard, a standard landscape for L.A. There's a bit of trickery, some pumped up color, mirroring, and mandalas but isn't that sort of what you might expect from La La Land? The vast majority of Angelenos live in the flats of this big flat plane where any object of height becomes a beautiful silhouette in the magic hour while the sun sets.

My project forThe Standard Hotel was actually  more than just a painting and like most of  my work that is designed to fit a space there was a bit of planning involved: some preliminary sketches and a maquette. As usual I had more ideas than were needed. The end result culled a picture from my archives adapted to fit the  circumstances. In this case the format was (for me) unusually narrowing and wide but it inspired me the way Hollywood was inspired to invent the widescreen motion picture.

I chose a silhouetted landscape that I flipped and book matched to satisfy the proportion of the "box" at The Standard. I guess the box might also be considered a sort of cage because at night when the whole lobby of the hotel becomes a seductively lit lounge the box has a girl in it. I know. It's like some throw back to the girl in a go-go cage. Weird. The way I addressed that situation was to "peel" a layer off my painting and repeat it on the window at the front of the box. It seemed a perfectly reasonable and comprehensible idea to me but I had some convincing to do so I made a small scale model, a maquette.

What I did was to encase the girl within the imagery of my painting. It wasn't my primary intention. I simply wanted to take advantage of the space. Even without the girl in the box the effect of repeating the silhouetted image on the front plane activated the painting especially as the viewer maintains eye contact with the work while moving toward it, away from it, or side to side. If I could show you a little video that would help. Sorry.

Anyway, I'm giving you multiple views including what I first saw. It's a nice lobby but I really thought about creating something that would draw you in, draw you right up to the reception desk where presumably you cross the conceptual threshold into another world.

You can see the painting more clearly in my studio but I do enjoy the combination of the painting and the printed plastic with the reception box. To me it's sort of perfect in its own way. Alas the set up only lasted for a few weeks. My painting came down and the silhouetted plastic was scraped off and discarded. That's so L.A. in a way. Make way for the new. Next.


Sarah Jane Bruce was the go between. She made the arrangements with the powers that be at The Standard.

Joanna Burke introduced me to Sarah Jane.


  1. Thanks for the title THE MAGIC HOUR. This painting of yours is everthing and more and I can not believe they took it away, like some floral arrangement! The nerve! Hope all is well.

  2. Scott just excellent and so well thought out!The design work So artistially conceived.

    Art by Karena

  3. Kevin, after I installed the work at The Standard I sent pictures to Dean Anes and he wrote back:

    "It looks great! Bravo - they are stupid not to keep it."

    Karena, thanks so much!

  4. Scott, it is a vibrant painting full of energy-they should indeed have kept it and continued it on the lower part of that god forsaken white box- it must have wept when its counterpart got done and cringed when it came down thinking never will I forgive the Standard. a real loss- they needed it. pgt

  5. This has been very interesting to read the background of how you created this project!
    Very creative where ever it lives.

  6. Thanks Elizabeth! Right now that painting lives rolled up in my studio storage. I should create a blog post about that. I have a full and interesting storage space!


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