I'm really excited about a new collection of 29 'portals' I've made for The Whitney Museum of American Art that will be available in their store this coming week.
The story behind the portals is a combination of three things: A walk through the Whitney Museum with Lauri, head of product development, during which I pointed out a painting by Forest Bess that I loved (image above in gallery), the experience of the building & Renzo Piano's inspiration in designing it, and Lauri's comment on how she liked the idea that people took a little piece of their experience of the museum home with them.
This brought to mind some XL portals I created for my Landscape garden installation at Lawson-Fenning in Los Angeles. Just as the windows of a house connect you to outside world, these portals were meant to be openings beyond the garden and into the world of the unseen. For the Whitney they are meant to be windows to one's experience while at the museum.
In this video architect Renzo Piano talks about 'Largo' -an open space. He also speaks of the building in relation to the water, the city and the people who are there to get lost in the art, but rooted in the reality of their surroundings.
Forest Bess created a visual vocabulary of primordial images loaded with symbolic meaning in his paintings. I, too, have a growing vocabulary of symbolic images that I use in my work, and for these portals have combined them to symbolize the experience of city, sky, building & art while at The Whitney.