Local artist Ana Serrano uses Los Angeles as her inspiration for almost life-sized cardboard models of typical city blocks, drawing on the unique design elements of the city and focusing on small moments of artistry. Serrano's installation, the Salon of Beauty, is currently on display in the Rice Gallery in Houston, TX. To prepare for the installation, Serrano photographed South Los Angeles, choosing details to recreate in the exhibition's pieces. (According to Co. Design, Serrano was particularly inspired by Firestone Boulevard and Florence Avenue, between Alameda and Crenshaw.) Co. says those details range from "hundreds of cardboard shingles affixed with hot glue, to gorgeous Spanish 'tiles' that cover a floor of a house, to a tiered wedding cake in the bakery window, complete with paper roses." Serrano tells Co. that she hopes focusing on specific design features of the built environment will change perceptions of the city: "I do hope that people notice these details in a different light than what they are usually perceived as...But ultimately it's up to the viewer to decide what the impact of the work is going to be for them."
In case you can't make it to Houston sometime before the exhibit closes in December, the video below shows some of Serrano's work, along with her explanation for why the details of the built environment are so important to city life.
· Salon of Beauty [Ana Serrano]
· An Almost Life-Sized Version Of L.A., Done Totally in Cardboard [Co. Design]