paulette's hypermeaningful weblog


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Behind the Art: The Broadway and College Stoplight Painting

Everybody knows this painting, but they don't know the story of it, and it's a really interesting story. 
Here is a picture of a stoplight.

The painting came about because Paulette hadn't painted for a while and wanted to paint this spot because she noticed it when visiting the CCA campus in Oakland to go to the cafeteria to get some tea.  The cafe was closed, so she had to go to Hudson Bay Cafe where she met Nathan and talked with him about his college essay on something related to art.  But on the way to the Hudson Bay Cafe, she walked through the park-like CCA campus and noticed this view of this stoplight, but mostly she noticed the huge blight of a billboard above a real estate office.  She thought the blight might be interesting to paint, but when push came to shove, she liked the streetlight on the island.  When asked why she chose the streetlight, she said, "I don't know, It seemed like maybe it made sense as a composition."

During the painting of the painting, the sun went down and put the street in shadow, and the sky light became more diffuse, softer.  There was a man sitting in some weird picnic table shelter, waiting for who knows what, enjoying everything collegiate.  The cars went by, and people walked by, and the lights changed.

The painting will be up for sale on ebay when it's dried.


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