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‘Her’ rail map artist is designing art for LA’s light rail

Coming to the future Westchester station

A 2008 photo of Geoff McFetridge standing in front of one of his installations at the RedCat Gallery in Disney Hall.
A 2008 photo of Geoff McFetridge with one of his installations at the RedCat Gallery in Disney Hall.
Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles artist, illustrator, and graphic designer Geoff McFetridge designed a futuristic LA rail map for the 2013 movie Her. Now, California Sunday Magazine says he has signed on to create station art for a real-life light rail line set to open in 2019.

McFetridge’s art will adorn the Crenshaw Line’s future Westchester/Veterans station, a stop named for both the neighborhood in which it’s located, Westchester, and for a nearby veterans housing development.

The artist’s work has been called “deceptively simple.” In its brief description of the artist, Metro seems to concur, saying McFetridgre’s art is about “looking at familiar images in a new way, using the literacy of the viewer in order to create poetry out of common visual language such as figures; animals and simple shapes.”

McFetridge’s work already dots LA. You might have seen it at the Beverly Center, when the artist’s giant lady-flashing-the-under-construction-Beverly-Center art piece was up, or inside the West Hollywood Target, where his skater mural adorns a 13-foot wall. His work is also on the coffee tables of cool people everywhere—McFetridge drew the cover and some illustrations for the popular book Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake by Barbara Bestor.

Shoppers cruising through @target had no idea what to do with this @mcfetridge gem. #JacqAndArt

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The details about McFetridge’s future Westchester/Veterans station’s art are few, but basically the plan is that new paintings, “depict[ing] people interacting with geometric shapes and laboring beneath their weight,” will be printed onto 20 large aluminum panels that will be installed at the rail line stop.

“I was responding to the idea of living with the ups and downs of forces that are out of your control,” the artist told California Sunday.

It’s fitting that McFetridge is working on the art for a new rail line in Los Angeles, but especially this one. His map in Her “depicts a seamless and densely interconnected rail network that conveys Angelenos from the mountains to the sea, from downtown to the airport,” says California Sunday.

Via a people mover at one of its stations, the Crenshaw/LAX Line will eventually connect directly to the airport, a long-overdue first for rail in LA. (In his movie rail map, McFetridge imagined three LAX stops along LA rail lines.)

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