posted: April 19, 2010
Inspired by David Gothard's post, "Most Unusual Working Conditions" I would like to share my own unusual work situation. On April 29, 1992 a jury acquitted four Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the videotaped beating of African-American motorist Rodney King. The outrage that followed is now called the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. I was born in Pasadena, California and my youth was spent in and around the suburbs of Los Angeles. Los Angeles was my stomping grounds and I loved the city. At the time of the Rodney King trials I had been working weekly for the Los Angeles Times and that trial was definitely heating things up. The weekend after the acquittal the city was ready to blow and so many of us were outraged with the acquittal. I took off that weekend to San Francisco right when it blew. On Monday morning I checked my answering machine and I had gotten a call from Nancy Duckworth explaining that the Los Angeles Times Magazine was hiring 9 LA artists to depict their personal feelings and art in response to the verdict and the riots and that the artist, could do anything, no sketches just make sure that the art gets in by Thursday. I called Nancy, accepted the assignment and didn't tell her that I was in San Francisco. Next step, find all of the art supplies needed to create a mobile printmaking studio. I bought some plexiglass, a roller , speedball inks, paint thinner, pencils and I was able to find my favorite hand made Japanese paper in San Francisco. I worked that night on a card table under a single light bulb in my sister in laws garage with a bunch of makeshift supplies and I created this piece. Sent it out Fed-Ex the next day and the whole process was a complete artist rush to create. The other 8 artists commissioned were: Marty Gunsaullus, Todd Gray, Christian Clayton, Sherry Etheridge, Joel Nakamura, Greg Clarke, Scott Morgan and Greg Spalenka. Art Direction was Nancy Duckworth and Steven E. Banks.