it leaves

linear mural at rowan dozier layover bus station, east los angeles, ca
client: civic art program, los angeles county arts commission

materials: paint
size: 450’ x 7’
painting contractor: calco painting
stencils: pure black inc
photos: larry hirshowitz, merge

I have walked through many lives,
 some of them my own.
(STANLEY KUNITZ)

Here is what I have and what I owe, 
please listen to the count, the story and the sound.
(PABLO NERUDA)

no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written.
I am not done with my changes.
(STANLEY KUNITZ)

the creation of the large-scale mural was part of a remodel of a layover bus station in east los angeles. three concrete masonry walls, each 150 feet long, define the perimeter of the station. over time, these walls are being overtaken by deciduous vines, transforming the walls into a backdrop for nature’s play of growth, seasonal change and renewal.

the artwork plays with the notion of obscuring and revealing. painted patterns and text fragments were arranged in several layers to create a lace-like appearance and add a light, transparent quality to the walls. the patterns were derived from the leaf, flower and fruit shapes of the plants in front of the wall. each pattern appears on the wall in direct vicinity to the plant it was developed from. the patterns playfully interact with each other as well as with their natural counterpart and vary between denser, more detailed areas to more open, loose arrangements.

additionally, fragments from two poems are integrated into the patterns – one from pablo neruda’s book “the sea and the bells”, the other one from stanley kunitz’s poem “the layers”. both poems describe life and its meandering ways in face of an ever-changing nature that, compared to our daily lives, seems to follow its own rhythm.

as nature has slowly overtaken the walls, a transformation has been reached: the words of the poets are hidden, to be rediscovered in the next seasonal cycle of nature.

ooo

color and graphic scheme for allen j. martin park, la puente, ca
client: civic art program, los angeles county arts commission

materials: paint, stencils
painting contractor: calco painting
stencils: pure black inc
photos: merge

this project was done as part of a bigger renovation of allen martin park in los angeles county. we were asked to create a simple color concept. our goal was to create a unique identity for this site that reflects its recreational use while involving the community into the process.

circles form the main motif of our application. the circle conveys a strong meaning beyond cultural barriers – it represents wholeness and unity, and is generally a symbol of life. on a different level circles can evoke playfulness through associations like balloons, bubbles or balls.

background application / canvas:
a random and simple pattern of circles was applied in a variety of densities throughout the park, unifying a number of different elements of architecture and landscape. The circles were painted in bright colors (orange, pink, blue and two greens) that visually interact with each other. the community embraced our effort introducing strong colors to the site, which was formerly characterized by beige and brown hues.

community participation:
after the base layout of the circles was applied we invited the community to attend a workshop about colors: we explored the history, meaning and symbolism of specific colors. we consequently produced stencils that represented objects associated with a specific color (i.e. a basketball for the color orange). on the following “color day” the community was invited to use the provided stencils to paint with various shades and tints of the appropriate color on any circle that matched their color. by receiving information combined with hands-on work with colors participants acquired a deeper understanding and appreciation for colors and art. the participation project was fun and educational for both us and the public, and increased the community’s identification with the site.

the project has significantly reduced the graffiti problem at the park. smaller circular stencils are being used by the park staff for continuous graffiti management when necessary. the circular pattern thus intensifies over time.

the success of this project has inspired la county to include artists in many more of their facilities renovation projects.