Sunday, January 11, 2009


The rock stars, the movie stars, producers and directors, the trendy, and the wanna-a-be-seen along with other celebrities of the world would pass through the doors of Maxfield, the Los Angeles boutique for avant-garde designer clothing while I was on the other side of the wall working in the window or searching through the racks for inspiration. Creating cutting edge, visual or thought provoking windows for the highest profile window in southern California, which I did in the mid 90's, was indeed a challenge as I changed the display once a week for two years! Previously I had designed the windows for the Baby Guess stores with story-themed displays often times playing out inner personal relationships with the baby and kid mannequins ........ well that is another story for another time.

Inspiration came from diverse sources - the usual and expected: museums and gallery shows in L.A .and N.Y., diverse prop rental houses, amazing weekly swap meets as well as pouring through periodicals of all sorts, art history books but many of my most successful windows were inspired by my inner world and the need to express feelings or angst, communicate beliefs or the desire to be experimental with materials and ideas. As the challenge was before me once a week, I had the opportunity to
follow many paths and ideas, but oh, when those ideas didn't come easily wasn't exactly what I would call a good time.

The photos are of the two test windows I designed and installed in hopes of landing the gig. I had to do a lot of fast talking to even grab the opportunity to do a test window as my experience was based on children's clothing store windows which were at the opposite end of the spectrum of cutting edge and quite honestly I didn't fit the profile for an L.A. window designer. I was older than the young flamboyant designers, didn't have spiky or red flaming hair as one fan who had not previously met me expressed he expected. Indeed, it was a great adventure and growing experience as an artist.

First window (above):
After purchasing a mannequin and an outfit from a thrift store I painted the dressed guy solid light blue. From there I created a set in which I painted everything the same color except for several orange plastic fish. The finished design had a surreal storyline with the fish flying out of the bowl and all else oddly placed. The merchandise was a pair of leather shoes I was reluctantly given for fear the heat of the window would shrink the $1,000. pair of shoes! Oops.

For the second window I created a design in honor of the painter Frieda Kahlo whose work was being shown at the Los Angeles County Museum. After purchasing a mannequin I painted her face to resemble that of Frieda Kahlo and dressed her with thrift store clothes (except for a scarf that was merchandise), created the bird necklace as was in one of her paintings, painted an oil painting referencing several of her paintings and built the picture frame out of formcore. The window was a huge success.

Check out the E-MotionCards e-card Guardian Angel created using an image of one of my window designs.

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