Alex Gonzalez (Otiswoods) surreally reimagines the natural and cultural assets of Westlake, and historical MacArthur Park, in this tribute to the labor, small businesses, and shared contributions that make up one of the most diverse communities in Los Angeles. Monumental sculptures are animated into people, figures and animals that gather to play chess, run small businesses, paint banners and signs, support youth and build community together with the Levitt Pavilion bandshell behind them as an open mouth stage for voice, music and public expression.
This artwork was commissioned for Metro’s Through the Eyes of Artists poster series for display in the fleet.
“My Westlake community is the inspiration behind the artwork. The depiction brings whimsical elements of fantasy and surrealism to an otherwise fast paced and pragmatic city. There are small entities that demonstrate awareness of our struggle to keep up with the unrelenting progress in which the city moves and recognizes the workforce that adds life to Westlake.”
About the Artist
ALEX GONZALEZ “OTISWOODS” (b. 1991, Los Angeles) is a self-taught painter of over 10 years who was born & raised in the Westlake/ MacArthur Park neighborhood. His body of work explores a small window into strength, human will and industry reinterpreted through a surreal lens. As a first-generation American Latino born from Guatemalan immigrant parents, his experience is not unlike millions that reside in the United States. OTISWOODS’ work aims to bring awareness, recognition and acknowledgement to the immigrant struggle and bring life to the American Dream. Ultimately, he would like the audience to leave with a degree of empathy towards the immigrant experience. He has studied in the legendary Los Angeles Trade Tech College Sign Painting program and through the non-profit Art Division, based in Westlake/MacArthur Park and with which he credits with improving his artistic practice, allowing him to lead his own workshops and hosting his first solo exhibition. His artwork has been exhibited in the USC Fisher Art Museum, at the Huntington Library and Art Museum, and in multiple established private collections. He has received coverage in the Los Angeles Downtown News, Voyage LA and other publications.
About Through the Eyes of Artists
In the tradition of celebrating transportation through colorful travel destination posters, Metro Art commissions a diverse range of Los Angeles artists to create original artworks for the Through the Eyes of Artists poster series. Established in 2003, the posters are displayed onboard Metro trains and buses.
View other works in the series.
Display year: 2021