LAST WEEK, in just the space of one day, I was reminded both how big and small Los Angeles can seem.
My morning had started with a quick trip up into the hills of Altadena to meet up with the artist Dominique Moody. I’ve been following Moody for over a year as she began work on a large-scale assemblage piece that she defines as a “mobile work of art.”
More on all of that soon when my piece goes live, but in many ways this new phase will allow Moody to use the very landscape she travels through as both medium and canvass.
She’s rounding the corner on completion, so in order to tie up the last bits of reporting we found a corner of time to meet. I had an ulterior motive, I also wanted to take her by a another artist-designed home project I’d stumbled upon. We made the quick commute east and I left my car just feet away so we could have the sensation of walking into this wonderland sunk in the middle of sleepy, otherwise nondescript SoCal stucco-and-bungalow residential street. She was taken by the textures and the colors and the resonances and echoes she has seen in other works much like this (like my earlier Mosaic House visit).
As it so happened, the home is the landing pad of the artist Shrine, whose work has been a familiar recurring motif at outdoor festivals and events like Burning Man and Coachella. I had just happened to stumble on it last year while on a neighborhood walk. Magical, truly. A collision of color and bouncing light. Spires of tile and bone rising out of the spot where most homes would be fronted by an apron of lawn. We stood transfixed. Looking at swirls of old crockery; doll heads and twisted metal. And in what feels like more meaningful synchronicity than fleeting coincidence, Shrine has a piece — the Empire of Love Shack — in exhibition that just opened last weekend at the California Folk Art Museum on the Miracle Mile. Like Moody, Shrine’s materials are reclaimed from the landscape — all manner of toss-asides and repurposed bits and pieces.
What were the chances? Two artists whose work echo similar impulses, but who travel within distinctly different creative circles — yet live an easy ten minutes away from the other. The odds, I learned, were a lot smaller than I would have ever guessed.
I went took the long drive across town to take a quick peek at Shrine’s “Love Shack” at CFAM yesterday –this photo doesn’t do it justice … I will be back. With Dominique.