Untitled (Portrait Series)
- Joseph Sims
- Artwork Type
- Textile art
- Media & Support
- oil paint
- 2 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. 8 in.* (0.81 x 0.81 m)
- Public Library
1865 East 118th Street
Los Angeles, CA
Willowbrook Library celebrates abstract art in this unique collection with the Los Angeles County Art Commission’s Civic Art Program. Each piece selected for the library develops a language through design, pigment and form to be translated and responded to by the viewer. Interpreted like the written texts in the library, these works offer themselves as artifacts without representational imagery that hold culturally specific and personal narratives, as well as common stories of human understanding.
Through studied, layered and often humorous approaches, the five artists featured here represent the ideals of contemporary narrative art that speaks to and for the diversity of Los Angeles County. Joe Sims participated in Watts Towers Art Center and Charles White’s community arts program at Otis College of Art and Design, connecting him to LA art icons such as David Hammonds and Betye Saar. In turn, at the California African American Museum Sims has exhibited with emerging artists Duane Paul and Rosalyn Myles, who have collaborative relationships with Miguel Osuna and Ana Rodriguez. These artists work together exploring the rich connections between gestures, memory and the intersectionality that represents the best of Los Angeles.
Both Paul and Osuna, immigrants to the US (Jamaica and Mexico respectively), represent a growing population trend in South Los Angeles. Rodriguez was born and raised in East LA and her work focuses on cultural norms of the Chicano community that have been foundational in developing Southern California identity and aesthetics. Myles grew up in near the Willowbrook area in the Athens neighborhood; her art documents the evolution and revolution of black experiences, particularly those of black women in Southern California.
Whether illuminating the tension in the seductive melody of Billie Holiday’s lament in Strange Fruit located in the Adult Reading Area, deconstructing the architectural line through a gestural movement at the library’s rear entrance, or celebrating the literal sweetness of cultural life in paintings behind the customer service desk, these works give viewers a doorway to ideas, conversations and possibilities that demonstrate the mission of the County of Los Angeles’ Civic Arts Program, in that the health and sustainability of a community lies in its creative curiosity. www.lacountyart.org