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“I find it very useful, that I have to say it and not just paint it,” says Lari Pittman in his Los Angeles home. In this film, Pittman describes the benefits of teaching from an artistic perspective, emphasizing the positive effects of verbalizing your process and artistic intentions.
“What’s been helpful about teaching is that I constantly have to exteriorize, through language, what I’m thinking,” says the artist. “If you’re exclusively in the studio, you’re really not called upon to do that.”More information and credits
Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Bob Elfstrom & Bernd Meiners. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Mark Sutton. Artwork courtesy: Lari Pittman. Thanks: c/o – Atle Gerhardsen.
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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.