AiR No. 1
10/15/18 - 12/31/18
"Vessels and Orbits" is the mural suite produced for Toolbox LA's main entry by Dina Fischer, Steve Martinez, and Miles Lewis. It creates a narrative that leads Toolbox visitors from the downstairs community spaces to the upstairs shared workspaces. The mural begins with Miles's Tender Jet and Shuttle illustrations, creating metaphorical launches that reference the region's relationship to the aerospace industry. The imagery quickly transitions on the 1st floor into Steve Martinez's Damselfly painting and its surrounding deconstructed geometry and palette. As visitors ascend the stairs, they move through the variation of shape and color that suggest evolution, adaptation, and the constructed world. Dina Fischer's installation caps this main entry suite on the 2nd floor foyer with a light reactive mural that depicts local natural history and technology. As visitors pass from this 2nd floor foyer into the shared workspace, the murals provide a glimpse into the range of human manufacture and creativity in constant and complete reference to the natural world.
My murals at Toolbox LA picture the expanded, inter-connected awareness I gleaned in Chatsworth’s foothills. Using imagery native to Toolbox LA’s environs, I layer iconic LA wildlife with quantum equations and nearby ancient cave art. Icarus floats in freefall alongside radio-wave maps of distant galaxies. Planets and jellyfish swim among plants sacred to shamans, past and present. Time seems to collapse as geologic epics and human eras congeal into a carefully orchestrated composition. The murals pay homage to the life forms and ideas underpinning our present state of being, while opening a window onto tomorrow’s promise."
For an annotated image map that describes the history and site-specific imagery click HERE
"Tender Jet" & "Tender Shuttle"
My two murals "Tender Jet" & "Tender Shuttle" visually bookend the other two larger murals by Steve Martinez and Dina Fischer. The subject of my pieces are two landed aircraft, resting before launch or after arrival, clearly inviting the visitor up and down the stairs, while casually placing them in Chatsworth's history as a center for the aerospace industry. These graphic entry and exit points set a tone for the other murals, suggesting the romance of engineering achievement, the form of technology, the desire for weightlessness, and the shape and color of the other imagery."
- Miles Lewis
My mural focuses on the contrast between natural and artificial phenomena. It accomplishes this in two ways; The centrally painted damselfly is a natural organism that has an especially constructed and mechanical look. Researchers at Harvard University found that damselflies and dragonflies catch up to 95% of the prey they chase. Their wings powered by individual muscles that work together for amazing acceleration and agility. In the UK the ministry of defense created a drone that mimics a damselfly’s flight pattern. To me, the damselfly represents beauty and technical design. A perfect fit for a creative space that brings brilliant minds and innovators together under one roof. Through shared color and placement with the glitchy pixel blocks, abstract shapes, and excerpts from Miles Lewis' jet and shuttle murals, it creates a meditative environment for thinking about what is built and what evolves.
- Steve Martinez
Dina Fisher is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in the rugged foothills of Chatsworth California. A self-identified artist since age five, her formal training includes piano, voice, drawing, painting, spoken-written word, video, graphic design and photography. With a high-tech background in commercial design, she’s keenly interested in the convergence of science, technology and art. Most recently she’s led collaborative teams to produce ambitious art installations including Midnight Star (a stellar-alignment site-specific installation), and Mind Murmur (a sound/video installation driven by meditators’ brain waves).
Miles Lewis is an artist, conservationist, and an educator in both. Born in the San Fernando Valley, he's a graduate of CSUN and has exhibited internationally as a painter and printmaker. Currently, he's focused on drawing and book production. At ToolBox, he will focus on how line drawing, through diverse subjects and techniques, can form a bridge between observing, imagining, and suggesting.
Los Angeles native Steve Martinez is a fine artist, muralist, photographer, and graphic designer. His contemporary work deals with the discourse between the symbolic and the realistic within daily urban life. The thread of Mayan symbols and hieroglyphs, both representative of Martinez’s history and culture is inescapable in his work, always connecting the present to the past by uplifting, preserving, and honoring a significant layer of meaning and identity.