As you drive east down Washington Boulevard, right before you hit Fairfax you might notice something different: Where there used to be a blank, brick wall there is now a sprawling, carefully detailed mural.
The mural transforms the whole wall into a battlefield of sorts, large horses seeming to charge outside its boundaries carrying billowing flags emblazoned with an eye. From away the mural captures your attention and up-close it reveals a myriad of tiny details. Intrigued by the mural, I contacted the artist Andrew Schoultz and conducted an email interview.
Andrew Schoultz’s imagery provides a sometimes apocalyptic theme and touches on political ideas that might not be overt, but instead subtly communicate a message. In fact, if the artist could describe his art in three words, they would be chaotic, multi-layered and political. Speaking of politics, Schoultz himself finds the upcoming presidential election frustrating. While he would rather see Obama take the next presidency over Romney, he concedes Obama is not perfect and the system in general proves faulty. Wrote Schoultz:
There is not a freezing chance in hell for any third party. This is problematic. We really only have a choice between these two guys, and that’s it. It doesn’t really feel as much like a choice as it should. The sad reality, not to sound pessimistic, is that there really is not that much of a difference between the two. I have grown pretty disenchanted with politics over the past couple years. Listening to all the bickering and BS political theatre in congress, as well as the Senate, for the past couple years, that has literally halted any real progress has been disheartening to say the least.
The artist hails from the Bay Area but through his art career, has spent plenty of time here in the City of Angels. He recently finished the above-mentioned mural on the wall of Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, a project that came about after some hassling with the city. Schoultz wrote:
I was really happy that they were open to doing a project like that one on their building. Most galleries are not. They were very supportive of the whole thing and put a lot of trust in me. Really, i just described a pretty loose idea of what I wanted to paint to them and they were like “great”. This was the ideal situation for me to paint a mural.
The mural gives a sneak peek into the artist’s upcoming solo show at the gallery in January which will further expose his name to the Culver City art scene and to visitors who come from other parts of Los Angeles.
In the art world, Schoultz has found great support with Mark Moore and with Track 16 Gallery, where he first had a big show back in 2003. And now how’s the city treating Schoultz? Schoultz replied:
I cannot really say for sure, but it would not be the craziest thing to see me living in LA in the next 3 years. However, there is nothing that could really make me into a Laker’s fan.
No matter the location, Schoultz’ art-making has dealt him a handful of memorable encounters. Although he does not consider himself a street artist, he often works outdoors which exposes him to the craziness of passersby and much more. Schoultz said:
I have been jumped, arrested, had bricks thrown at my head, gotten my ladders and materials stolen, been threatened, fallen off of ladders and roofs, gotten cut super bad, had crack deals go wrong directly beneath my ladder, seen people pistol whipped below me, as well as all kinds of arguments and conversations. I have had tons of intense and dangerous experiences out there, however the good experiences by far outweigh the bad. Unfortunately the bad are a little bit more memorable but when you are out there doing it, you are exactly that, out there…. You are wide open for anything to happen basically…“
Yet that does not deter him from putting up more and more art out in the open across the city:
But I will say in the end, all things considered and all the problems and headaches, it is worth it. If i could be painting big walls 24/7 i would be doing just that. I have always said that the audience of the general public is the most diverse and interesting audience that you can possibly address with your art and i still believe that. Making art accessible to everyone should be a priority for all artists, unfortunately it isn’t and never really has been a priority in the art world.
Schoultz looks forward to his upcoming show and also anticipates the birth of his baby boy, Apollo. As to whether he will urge his son into art, Schoultz muses:
Mark Moore Gallery
Both me and my wife are artists so I would also expect that whether he likes it or not he is going to be around a lot of art for the first half of his life which i would assume will have an effect on him. I guess the only thing I can say here, is whatever comes natural is whatever comes natural. I do not plan to force anything upon him. I am pretty sure he will be a creative little dude in whatever he becomes interested in.
5790 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Tuesday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment
See more of the progress shots of this mural back in September here.
All photos taken by Erwin Recinos.