Cardboard Revival: LAMAG, Barnsdall Park
Cardboard Revival: LAMAG, Barnsdall Park is a reworking of a previous site-specific artwork exhibited at 2A Gallery in Downtown LA in 2013-14. In the original work, decorative motifs from the Italian Revival building that housed the gallery were presented as a visual mash-up that acknowledged the proximity of the space to Skid Row, and the conflicting realities of homelessness and gentrification.
The second incarnation functioned in a similar way; but engaged with and responded to the refurbished Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House's Mayan Revival style motifs and the east Hollywood homeless community that lives in the vicinity of Barnsdall. The house was built in the early 20th century for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, who donated the structure to the City of Los Angeles in 1927 after becoming unhappy with the costs of construction and maintenance. In the present-day environment, there is a clash of perceptions related to the myth of Hollywood, wealth and celebrity and the desperate situation of people who live on the streets.
As an artist, I am interested in creating hybridized spaces that engage social issues via the language of painting and abstraction. Borrowing decorative motifs from Hollyhock House’s Mayan Revival-style and tropes from the urban environs, such as graffiti and cardboard scraps, I create a space that is a reflection on approaches to housing that share a neighborhood in spite of their ideological incompatibility. With house paint, markers and spray paint, I work directly on the walls. I combine the gilding of Hollywood’s Golden Age and naturally derived hues of the pre-Columbian world with a humbler palette dictated by life on the streets. Cardboard Revival attempts to reconcile a difficult situation within the realm of aesthetics.