Artworks, Through the Eyes of Artists, Posters

Westlake Through the Eyes of Artist Alex Gonzalez OTISWOODS

Artist Otiswoods uses fantasy and surrealism to share symbols and sculptures of the Westlake neighborhood in the latest poster for the Through the Eyes of Artists series.

Project Description

Alex Gonzalez “Otiswoods” depicts symbols of creativity and strength in Westlake in the latest Through the Eyes of Artists poster. The artist was moved by the will and industry of his neighbors in Westlake — where he was born, raised and still resides. In his surreal style, Otiswoods reimagines natural and cultural assets in Westlake — especially historical MacArthur Park. Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles, the park bandshell known for its concerts, is reinterpreted as a mouth and symbol of public expression. People, figures and animals gather to play chess, run small businesses, explore transit, paint banners and signs, support youth and build community. Combining work and play, this is a fantastical and empathetic tribute to the labor, small businesses and shared contributions that make up one of the most diverse communities in Los Angeles.

This artwork was commissioned in 2020 for Metro’s Through the Eyes of Artists poster series for display in the fleet.

The poster is viewable onboard Metro buses countywide from now to late October 2021.

Westlake Through the Eyes of Artist Alex Gonzalez "Otiswoods"

Artist Statement

“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 NewsVoyage 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
Locations: Westlake