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Bonnie and Clyde: I Thought I Wanted to be an Architect but Really I Just Want to Live in a Postmodern House in LA

  • 2 min read
Brighton based artist Bonnie and Clyde has been exploring the American West Coast in her cool and colourful new collection. She has generously shared her travel snaps and taken the time to explain the fascinating journey she underwent to create her latest print ‘FIVE’ aka ‘I Thought I Wanted to be an Architect but Really I Just Want to Live in a Postmodern House in LA’.

The print is a striking photomontage of 5 buildings in coastal LA, “I used photography, paint, inks, pencils, digital print, Japanese paper and wood to make the original which I then turned into a limited edition print with screen-print and glazes and hand-finished glazed collage elements,” Bonnie and Clyde explained.

The original picture is composed of several individual elements carefully balanced to create the LA scene.  Bonnie and Clyde painted each quintessential building then scanned them and reworked them in the computer, adding the backdrop and various elements. “Next I deconstructed the piece and printed all the bits individually, painted the areas of colour and collaged the piece together, painting as I went along.”  Layers and layers of collaged painted elements combine to create a skilful and seamless landscape. 

One of the buildings in the print is the Chiat/Day building in Venice California. Known now as the ‘Binoculars Building’, the iconic building is a commercial office built for the advertising agency Chiat/Day as its West Coast corporate headquarters. The massive sculpture of binoculars that functions as the entrance was made by American Pop artist Claus Oldenburg. It was designed by LA “Deconstructivist Postmodern architect Frank Gehry, who I’m a fan of,” Bonnie and Clyde revealed, “I was given an amazing book which featured this building when I was just starting out on my creative journey so to see it in the flesh was a big deal and I just had to make a piece featuring it.” 

As the prints title suggests, Bonnie and Clyde is seriously interested in the LA architecture, “the architecture of the area is really interesting as there is a height limit and the structures are low due to earthquakes. There’s an abundance of modernist and postmodern buildings and it’s a creative hub. The wide streets and low buildings give the area an air of space and freedom and the basic structures, bad electricity infrastructure make it feel more down to earth and relaxed.” 

The other buildings depicted in ‘FIVE’ can be found dotted around the Venice and Santa Monica area, along with the palm trees and signs Bonnie and Clyde has incorporated. The backdrop of hills is visible from the beach around Santa Monica Pier. “The car was taken from a trip to Rhodes a number of years ago, the Ozone Avenue sign a reference to the 5 lanes of LA traffic,” she explained. The day-glo palm trees are her joyful emblem of this unique modern metropolis. The print, which embodies LA cool, is her personal memento of a thrilling American adventure.  

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