Alexis: So tell me, why this show – what is the impetus behind California Dreaming?Michele: I guess it started with the series of portals that I made for The Whitney. It was really fun to make lots of different shapes and sizes, and collect a group of symbols from the library of symbols that I use. For that grouping, it was all about the building, and the experience of going to the Whitney and what that means. I was really excited about them, and I wanted to make more. I was also really excited to come out to California, and thought I should go back into the library of symbols that I’m using, and focus it on my idea of “California.”
A: Sure, like an outsider’s idea.M: Yeah, a little bit, like an image in my head. You think of the Golden Coast, of people who moved out west in search of gold, the sun, and the landscapes – so I wanted to bring in the marigold. The rainbow always represents the sky for me. The eye and the web – I think of California, and L.A. specifically, as having this cosmic idea to it. People are coming here with a certain kind of dream, a tuned-in vibe. The eye also reminds me of Lauren [Wolf, owner of ESQUELETO]; I know she loves the eye shape. The indigo dot is for the ocean and sky; I wanted to bring in the crescent moon; the straight lines represent the water of the ocean. So I wanted to bring all those symbols together, eyes and webs and sacred geometry. I was mostly really motivated by my excitement to come out here and spend a week. I really like L.A.!
A: Yeah, it’s not so bad!M: I really do! I like that it’s spread out, the sprawl, and has a little bit of a war-torn aesthetic; it has this combination of a lot of things, all these very differing elements.
A: Totally, that’s why I love L.A.- There’s something for everyone. There are so many different scenes, so many different cultures, and all of it is overlaid on top of each other.M: Right, and that’s what I’m thinking about with the symbol of the web, it’s all interconnected. New York used to be like that, but it’s feeling less so; it’s more homogenized, there’s less room for diversity.
A: There’s definitely a lot of room in L.A.! Well the installation looks amazing; I love having this giant marigold sun on the wall. Thanks so much Michele!.
MQuan // California Dreaming Works on view June 10th – July 31st ESQUELETO los angeles 1298 W. Sunset Blvd 90026 (213)947-350810% of sales of this work will benefit L.A. Family Housing, an organization that connects both the chronically homeless and the temporarily/recently homeless to permanent housing and helps them achieve long-term housing stability through a full continuum of services. Thank you. Let's try to help everyone have their California Dream.