Eric Vozzola is the popular Las Vegas graphic designer who has taken on public art and exhibitions. To expand his practice further PtD asked him to write about his first visit to the Los Angeles Art Show, which has undergone reinvention since it relocation to downtown Los Angeles in 2009. We start with Vozzola's reflection on one painting that caught his attention.
Guo ShuLing “The Laboratory” (China)
What first seems like abstract expressionism in a dream-like painting from afar, Guo ShuLing's “The Laboratory” reveals a young male figure hovering over a pond or garden in the center when inspected closer. The complex web-like forms extending from the figure’s head is unique and used throughout the painting creating a synapse effect. Colors in the center of the “The Laboratory” are magnificent to a color-lover like myself and my favorite element of the piece. Take more time and the painting reveals unimaginable detail, like the little sprouts and plant-like forms that gently emerge from the pond in the foreground. The deeper meaning I found is we can be the creators of our own universes. The subject in this piece, with face hidden, is using imagination to create their own beautiful and lush world. It reveals a coexistence and direct connection moving back and forth from an external environment to an internal experience. - Eric Vozzola
By Eric Vozzola
At the last minute a couple of art buddies and I decided to attend The LA Art Show to find inspiration and experience top tier artists. The quality of work was on another level. The technical execution, presentation, concept, humor, color, and cutting edge design was more than I could have imagined. I felt at home and connected to this paramount show of masterful works on the West Coast.
Living in Las Vegas and being familiar with our local art scene it’s hard to compare the two. Vegas is still such a young scene, but the seeds have definitely been planted. We have hard-working, talented career artists and spaces to show work. The quality of our street art in particular has turned Vegas into a respected destination for public art – all of which is pointing us in the right direction.
To witness the state of the art world through the context of the LA Art Show was an extreme duality. I felt like a spec among giants, but also filled with immense inspiration, motivation, and confidence.
Being an artist is like working through a long tunnel with a tiny light at the end. There are many avenues and detours that keep you pushing forward, but there is an ultimate goal of perceived success that one is striving for, the so-called “light." Witnessing this show is almost like experiencing a bird’s eye view of this “light,” but through a different, external lens, other than your own. It’s a magnificent and visceral feeling.
I feel a long-term goal of one’s career as an artist and designer is to be prolific enough to be included in the likes of the L.A. Art Show. As intimidating as that seems, experiencing the art fair for the first time allows one to calibrate their path, to make notes on how to work toward the same success more of a reality, and less an insurmountable light in the distance.
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.