Visit these Los Angeles stops on the tour:

Dr. Gibson

Los Angeles Denver Inglewood


ArtI painted a large canvas of this work in 1971. Twenty-one years later I revisited the image and created this lithographic print. Art comes from a movie marquee that originally read "Art Theater." The building was an old establishment on the vaudeville circuit.

I photographed the sign one hot afternoon while exploring the back streets of downtown Los Angeles. The sunlight was so intense, I asked the ticket taker if I could go inside to change the film in my camera. On the way out, I took one photograph of this sign, which became the "high speed sketch" for this work.

This marquee had become a surviving witness to the changing styles of American signage. As I point out in the video, the sign was originally lit with tungsten bulbs installed in the shadow box letters and in the rows of sockets running between and around the letters. After 1929, when neon lighting was invented, the tungsten bulbs gave way to neon and the sockets were abandoned.

Take a look at "Spin" in More to It! to view this image in a different context.

Los Angeles Stops: Art | Nite | Ral's | Hot | Dr. Gibson

Back to: Map