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AestheticsLari Pittman

October 23, 2008

In this film, Lari Pittman is shown amongst the cacti of his Los Angeles home. In a revealing interview, Pittman describes the emotional foundation behind the aesthetic of his work.

“The micromanaging of aesthetics and beauty both in the work, and in the way Roy and I conduct our life, I think comes from acknowledging something a little sad, actually,” says the artist. “And I think that we both conflate this state, or the managed state, of beauty and aesthetics, as a zone that allows safety. For us, then, at times manic articulation of our surroundings is actually a form of creating a safe zone.”

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Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Mark Sutton.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Lari Pittman

Inspired by commercial advertising, folk art, and decorative traditions, Lari Pittman’s meticulously layered paintings transform pattern and signage into luxurious scenes fraught with complexity, difference, and desire. Pittman uses anthropomorphic depictions of furniture, weapons, and animals—loaded with symbolism—to convey themes of romantic love, violence, and mortality. Despite subject matter that changes from series to series, Pittman’s deployment of simultaneously occurring narratives and opulent imagery reflects the rich heterogeneity of American society, the artist’s Colombian heritage, and the distorting effects of hyper-capitalism on everyday life.

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Culture and Aesthetic Sensibility

Artist Lari Pittman talks about his relationship to his hometown, Los Angeles, as well as the ways in which time and balance are investigated through his paintings.

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Lari Pittman

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Lari Pittman

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Lari Pittman