No art form is more familiar than the portrait. The most intimate of artistic undertakings, it takes two to make a portrait: the artist and the subject. Usually, a portrait implies that the finished work will communicate what the subject actually looked like. But from the earliest times, artists have put a twist on that expectation by creating their own interpretations; they wanted to get under their subject’s surface appearance and reveal character. (DescansoGardens.org)
When someone or something is beloved we take a picture. Or, we buy a picture, or a painting, or a sketch. We hang it on our wall and smile whenever our eye passes over it. Our beloved is remembered and beloved again on a daily basis.
The Descanso Gardens commissioned three artists to produce work for an exhibit titled Portraits of the Garden. Astrid Preston is a painter; Steve Roden works with paint and sound; and Linda Hudson’s two works are made with plant material and appear on the gallery’s exterior walls. “Three additional artists were invited: Mary-Austin Klein, Joel Glassman, and Karen Reitzel, whose work provides geographical context for this show and this garden.”
Additionally, an invitation was extended to artists of all mediums to submit their portraits of the garden. Over 300 submissions were received. One hundred fifty works from 98 artists were chosen for “display in the first-ever Descanso ‘salon,’ which provides a unique immersion in both a collective perception of Descanso Gardens and its welcoming range and versatility as a subject for the portraitist.”
But maybe most stunning of all is the community inclusion. Everyone is welcome to post their own photos of Descanso Gardens on Instagram or Twitter (#portraitsofthegarden) or by emailing the photos here so that they may be included in a video installation in the gallery show.
Portraits of the Garden
Runs through Sunday, March 30th
Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge 91011
Admission: $9, general; $6, senior/student; $4, children 5-12 years old
For complete info, visit DescansoGardens.org