Actually I didn't notice them straightaway as they are so much a part of the environment but when I did I was mesmerised - what a brilliant way to introduce art to the outdoors. Most public art is pretty dire in my view and often bears no relationship to the location but Joshua really came up with a cool idea here, simultaneously disguising ugly utility boxes and creating beautiful sculptural objects.
I had no clue who the photoboxes were made by so when I came to write this post I made a very unsuccessful search to find out who the artist was. Then I had a brainwave and contacted the wonderful David Hall from the Culver Hotel who had been so helpful to us during our stay. David knew exactly where to look and got all the information for me from the Public Art department of Culver City.
As can be seen in these images, the concept is very simple; Joshua took photographs of areas behind the variously sited utility boxes and then pasted them on top of the boxes themselves, creating weird double worlds from this often mundane urban landscape. Genius!
In my photos of the photos I've lined up the real and fake but, as when viewed in real life, the misalignment between the two brings a jolting friction - which is what makes the sculptures so intriguing and fascinating.
Los Angeles is so exotic to a European like me! I never expected that.
I love the slithers of imagery on the thin sides of the boxes
It's clever the way the artist hasn't just chosen the most photogenic views - the boxes with the least 'intrinsically interesting' imagery are the most weird.
Showing the setting of the boxes all around the Culver Hotel
A bizarre aspect of the photos is that although we feel we're looking at a scene in the here and now, actually we're looking at that view as seen in a specific moment in the past. Space time freakiness!
The only bus lay-by in LA with a handle!
When three boxes are together the visual confusion is even more intense.
A box is surely the most three-dimensional of objects but the surface treatment of these boxes has all but destroyed their actual three-dimensionality. It really is a clever and interesting concept which works on so many levels.
Must be pretty cramped inside that box - no wonder she's got her legs sticking out!
I wish I'd thought of this project - it must be have been extreme fun doing it.
And this is how boring these metal boxes would have been without Joshua's intervention!
Turns out he's done lots of commissions like this so check them out on his website in the Public Art section.
Please, please, please will someone in England commission him to do the same thing here to alleviate the dreariness and predictability of some of our city centres!
See my other posts on LA