Miniature in the Mail #65: "Hollywood, Dead Ahead"

"Hollywood, Dead Ahead," 5x5in., oil on masonite

Back from a successful show in Beverly Hills last weekend. I sold a few large paintings and a bunch of these minis, but more importantly I met some new folks and had good conversations about art and life.

Today's piece came out of a moment in which I got lost somewhere approaching Hollywood. I glimpsed the talisman, I mean, car, from above on an overpass.

Others might fret over terrorists or killer germs, but the guy with the neofascist undercut I saw at the supermarket last night worries me more. I also stress over cars. One of my progeny was hospitalized with pneumonia when she was younger and now seems to always start to cough when the smog shoots up. Then, in L.A., the urban design is way too easy for privatized motor transport. Roads are broad, parking spacious, turns sweeping, and signs huge.

Maybe that sounds contradictory but take it from a frequent pedestrian and cyclist, these apparent safety measures in reality lull drivers into a false sense of awareness.

In messy Italy where I lived last year, road culture is the opposite. Streets are narrow and bumpy, walls come right up to sidewalks, and walkers young and old, tourists, mopeds, motorbikes, cars, trucks, buses, and bikes zigzag and entangle in a wild sort of mass dance.

Funnily, it feels safer because drivers expect unusual forms of traffic and are vigilant. By force of circumstance, they moderate their speed. You could text while driving—I certainly saw itbut it's as likely you'd take out yourself on a medieval bend as quickly as you'd do anyone else in.

This weekend, I'll be at another show, in Redlands, Smiley Park, Booth 23. Come out if you can.

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