Candles Burning in the Wind
As a transplant female artist, the longer I live and dream in Los Angeles, the more I move away from being just an observer to being a direct participant in the rich multiculturalism that fuels this city. Candles Burning in the Wind is a body of 12 tributes to the endurance and resilience of the transplants and migrants embodied through one of the most iconic symbols of Los Angeles: palm trees, the transplant species that has shaped the landscape of this city the most.
LA's palm trees are to me what comes closer to the idea of monuments I used seeing growing up in Italy, and to me these "street trees" are living monuments honoring the people without whom LA wouldn’t be the multilayered city we know. They echo memories of personal aspirations and multigenerational hardships associated with universal themes of integration, pluralism, and the right to exist.
The twelve portraits of palm trees, include the four original paintings from my recent California Dreaming print release, and eight brand new pieces. In these, the starkness of my usual lines takes on an exciting dimensional depth, finds its echo in the wood cracks or gets reversed and channeled through mixed media installation. Overall, this body of work tunes into the vulnerable and mysterious aspects of this LA staple, with underlying hints of the textures and patterns one can commonly find in the streets of LA’s east side where I live.
The wood floater frames of the smaller pieces have all been custom built and stained with different mixtures of tea and coffee in the visible areas, while their back mounts have been charred, faux-rusted or distressed as I wanted them to feel “lived”.
Music is an integral part of my creative language and it plays a big role in this body of work as I’ve somewhat thought of it as a 12-track album or playlist. Each work in Candles Burning in the Wind has been named after iconic songs about L.A. and California or from L.A.-based bands, ranging from The Doors to Rage Against the Machine, to Cypress Hill, and the list goes on. During the making of the works I listened to a lot of quintessential stuff from Joan Jett, Lindsey Buckingham, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, and many others. I’ve put together the twelve tracks that inspired the titles (and some extra) and if you’d like to listen to the playlist, you can find it here: open.spotify.com.