From the air, and depending on the weather, Los Angeles appears through a tonal and dusty terracotta filter to be an expanse of blocks, of street grids which overlay and define the topography. The city spreads in a desert basin running from the mountains and slouched hills to the sea, not unlike a vast version of Picasso's views of Horta de Ebro/de San Joan.
From street level the city is still horizontal and linear and defined through simple, boxy forms. Signs, billboards, and palm trees provide spindly vertical jabs. Colors of buildings and structures are revealed. They are vivid, though in need of frequent replacement, as they are baked in a veneer of exhaust soot and fine urban/desert grime, quickly faded by the sun.
The light here is bright, but hard. This quality enhances the intense interplay and contrasts between the geometries and colors of the built and the greater natural and geologic canvas. Structures suggest a seedy utilitarianism, a lumpy modernism. Street level is, or can be, human level, but scale here is still a relative thing. Suggestions of narrative are revealed by solitary bicyclists in their street/work clothes commuting to their jobs in kitchens, parking lots, car washes.....weaving through construction projects and traffic cones...glimpsing drug deals in back alleys.... blue, orange and red buses picking up travelers resting at a stop in the shade of a tire store.
These paintings are an ongoing series about Los Angeles, which was started in 2010. The intention is to have done one hundred paintings (excluding drawings) sometime into 2021.
All images copyright Todd Moore.