Thursday, March 8, 2018

Los Angeles


The all-seeing eye: Blade Runner, Warner Bros. 1982 

What the eye sees: Los Angles, the mythical future.

Roger A. Deakins won best cinematography for Blade Runner 2049, deservedly so, probably, though Blade Runner, the original, is simply superior in every way. Every way. Los Angeles is big, a big target, so it’s quite easy to hit. Hit it. What’s more sophisticated is to capture it in an intimate way. And can we have some warmth and wit? Thank you.

There is a city by the sea
A gentle company
I don't suppose you want to
And as it tells its sorry tale
In harrowing detail
Its hollowness will haunt you

Fr: Los Angeles, I'm Yours (from Her Majesty) Colin Meloy

Years ago I began a search on behalf of my power couple clients in charming Hancock Park, (a park-like Los Angeles neighborhood). I was looking for just the right imagery for a dining room mural. I like to make these sorts of projects contextual so I’m thinking: park-like, lots of foliage and bucolic. Alas nothing was sticking. Out of frustration I tried an urban view in which I had no confidence thinking it was not only not the right imagery but also too derivative of Ed Ruscha or Peter Alexander. Surprisingly they seemed to like that idea, still the project was put on the back burner and I thought completely snuffed out. In fact, I learned they’d covered their dining room in a patterned fabric. Years go by, end of story.

My painted sample pinned up for sizing up.

Last Spring, I received word, game on. No, this can’t be, I thought. Paint the urban L.A. view on top of the pattern? Ridiculous. But I went through the motions, made a painted sample and half-way through I could see it. This can work. And so it came to be. A “Little” fugue in G Minor. The yellow flower forms from the patterned fabric peak through here and there and read alternatively as a heavily body or lights from the urban fabric. And the grisaille palette derives from the grey in the substrate. And in fact my painting bears practically no resemblance to anything either Ed Ruscha or Peter Alexander painted. It’s at once abstract and evocative. Los Angeles, I’m yours. 


There’s something else really special about this project. I managed to get my very good friend Sue Garner to help me.  So fun.  Sue and I went to art school together and we worked on The Ponce in Atlanta but that’s another blogpost. Be seeing you.

That's Sue, that's me.


  1. SHUT UP THAT IS SO COOL! I love it. This totally works.

    1. Thanks Lynne! It surprised me as much as anybody.

  2. INCREDIBLE!! It DOES really work! I love how deadlines and clients can force us make something happen.


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