Where Am I in Culver City? Game 020

Every other friday, I'll post a picture of something in Culver City that is 'hiding in plain sight.'

This time, the question is: Do you know where in Culver CIty this smiling face is? If you know, enter your response in the comments! I'll reveal the answer in two Fridays, when I post a new game.

Last time, I posted this swirl of color:

Culver City Times member Catherine Yanda correctly identified it as a detail from artist Ed Massey's massive 7,100-square-foot artwork entitled "Sycopation," spread across the top half of the commercial building on the northwest corner of Hughes and Washington.

Here's what Catherine said in her response:

This is such a great idea for a weekly contest and fun to try and spot hidden gems in our city.  This time around I wonder if this was this a trick question?  The building & art in question are just across the border from Culver City & the Sony bldg but have definitely been part of our landscape. 

She's right that the building and artwork, while not technically in Culver City, exerts a huge and wild influence on the area. 

There's the detail I selected, just to the right of the corner, near the center. 

I actually highlighted this mural because it seemed in eminent danger. There is a fence around the building it hangs on and reports that it will be demolished to make room for a mixed-use development. However, according to a representative of Massey I spoke to yesterday, the work will be removed before the building is demolished -- possibly this was already accomplished this morning. In the coming months, the mural will be installed on the Playa Vista campus of the Westside Neighborhood School. Great news!

Go here to see addition pics of this iconic work.

The style of "Syncopation" is consistent with Los Angeles-based Massey's body of work, as exemplified by this 2001 work entitled "Inertia in Motion," which is a puny 55 inches by 70 inches.

Here's what Massey says about "Syncopation":

Syncopation, the Painting at Culver Plaza, is a monumental 241-foot long canvas that is stretched to the exterior of the Culver Plaza Building in Los Angeles. Massey’s 7,100 square foot acrylic painting reaches 35 feet in height and expands the entire curved façade of the structure. The painting is situated at the gateway of the newly renovated, historical art deco section of Culver City and directly across the Kirk Douglas Performing Arts Theatre and Sony Studios.

Massey’s abstract tarpaulin comprises 11 separate sectionals – each panel measuring up to 35 feet by 25 feet. To accommodate the sheer magnitude of the painting, the canvas had to be stretched, fastened and secured to the floor of the voluminous 55,000 square foot studio/warehouse Massey acquired to complete the project. By choosing to paint on the ground, Massey was not constrained by the limitations of lifts and scaffolding. His unconventional painting methodology incorporated the use of house mops as brushes and richly pigmented and highly saturated acrylic paints. Three coats of high gloss varnish complete the brilliant finish.

Representative of Massey’s work is his use of black outline which defines the predominantly non-geometric forms. The distinctive pattern is the result of an ensemble of shapes creating a harmonious array of unifying parts. In pushing and swirling the paint in large gestural motions, Massey emulates the painterly characteristics often found in a more intimate size canvas. By utilizing a vibrant multitude of combinations, Massey explicitly conveys his keen interest in bold and vivid colorfields.

Here's a video that shows Massey at work on the piece. It has terrible music, so just turn down the sound.

And here is a video of Massey speaking:

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Comment by Charles Deen on January 14, 2012 at 9:57am

Scupine - it is all in playing the game. 


Comment by Scupine on January 14, 2012 at 9:15am

Right you are! I thought you might get this one because of the picture you posted of Mayor O'Leary. Clearly you know where this is, but other people still might not know, even from your description...

Comment by Charles Deen on January 14, 2012 at 1:45am

That is Lillian Culver who is holding her daughter Patricia and looking as Harry H. Culver reading a newspaper article about the 1917 founding of the City of Culver City.

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