Acrylic and Oil Stick on Canvas // 2015 // 36" X 60" X 1.5"
Since moving to LA from such a small town to attend UCLA, I feel as if I have been transmitted to another world completely - half fabricated, half "real" - and it seems as if the fabrication becomes more fantasy-like the darker the night grows. There is an adventure waiting at every corner, so many unexplored head spaces to occupy in a city with so many diverse niches. Here, you can become and try out all the different personas you can imagine. Yes, La La land is a place for the imagination and here, you can further explore that head space and chase it until it's manifested.
I started this painting with this unique fantastical energy of LA in mind, and with my love of color, I felt like LA's vibrant energy had to be harnessed and depicted through color vibrations - analogous to the sense of mystery one felt when roaming the city at night. Whatever club, bar, restaurant, cafe, karaoke clubs or mystery venues you choose to explore, there was always a unique culture, vibe, and energy that you felt when you arrived - which only a visitation could afford an understanding of such an energy.
I experienced this phenomenon fresh - my man and I decided to take an unconventional route and head out of the way of our usual Santa Monica to Hollywood route and into deep deep Culver City. We stumbled upon an African restuarant turned Jazz club for a night and found improvisational performers putting their heart and soul on the stage. One of the performances shook me from the inside out with the pure emotion that they exuded - an improvisational pianist and dancer. The best performances are those that transport you. The African girl had curves for days but moved with the elegance of a teeny ballerina in such a small space on the stage, while the electric pianist played tunes sounding the opening of another multidimensional and breathed out falsetto tunes so soulful that it gave me chills. There is something so powerful about the way these performers did this for purely the sake of music and poetry and jazz and most importantly - pure emotional expression, just being in complete flow. They weren't doing it for the audience; they were doing it for themselves. And that's why they transported me - I felt like it was watching an intimate moment unfold in front of me and I was blushing watching something so personal and unconventionally vernerable.
My painting is about the wonder grounded in the possibilities of finding moments like this, which LA is so rich in. It's a culture of cultures and so every part of it should be rendered in a unique way - from downtown to the Hollywood hills to Griffith park to LAX - there is always some unexplored energy waiting to be found.