Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Google Earth Hacks - Hollywood & Vine - Untitled

Someone - for reasons I can't imagine - has Google Earthed an older outdoor work of mine that can be seen from the Hollywood freeway (and from street-level) at the once famous (and now infamous) corner of Hollywood & Vine in LA California. The work can be spied while tooling down the adjacent elevated freeway.

As a child in Northern California I had various commercial advertising spectacles I expected to see from a ride on the Nimitz Freeway - a particular favorite was the Sherwin Williams "Painting the Globe" sign, which featured Earth being perpetually inundated with red paint...facilitated by a series of red neon wavlets cascading their way down a monumental cutout of a world globe. When I was commissioned to do the LA piece I liked to imagine there'd be some kid who'd regularly anticipate seeing it from the comfort of a rolling automobile.

The encroaching billboard (a new development since last I was in SoCal)turns the Google Earth snap into a sort of public/outdoor version of photo-conceptualist Louise Lawler's famous indoor, private-life-of-painting, juxtapositions. There's my climbing men being all-but-bumped by an advertisement for the Tom Hanks vehicle Angels and Demons, while rising in the background is the branding icon Capitol Records tower.

I often tell my students that when they field a visual art work it is, for better or worse, placed in direct competition with every other thing in the visual world. Whether it both arrests and holds a viewer defines it as having won or lost a round in its fight to hold its ground. The metaphorical match has, to my view, multiple rounds and it looks to me (a hardly objectives referee)that my outdoor work while clearly disadvantaged in scale and compositionally compromised by its surrounds is still holding its own.

The fact that my work's being hemmed in and that the building it's attached to is a mega-storage complex ( structures/business often employed by California real estate speculators as mortgage paying place-holders, awaiting urban renewal)doesn't look good for the fight's longevity....which's fine by me.

Here's the web address where I found it: