Curated by Jody Zellen
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This wall work combines several interests of mine. One of them is maps. In this piece, I have used the names of cars and trucks to construct a map of the 48 contiguous United States. Each car name corresponds to a city that has been situated according to the Yahoo Maps website. Many of the car names had multiple locations in different states, and aesthetic choices were made vis-a-vis placement to complete an outline that best resembled the U.S. I am also quite interested in advertising, etymology and the use of language. The proliferation of large sport utility vehicles is hard to miss in Los Angeles. The manufacturers often use names that convey the wide open spaces of the western United States, implying the ability to travel across the deserts and through the mountains in the pursuit of sport, adventure and beautiful landscapes. This naming tendency led me to compile a list of car and truck names that were also the names of cities, and once I began my research, I found many more than I would have expected. There were obvious ones like Sonoma, Tacoma, Aspen and Tahoe. And there were names that describe aspects of the landscape, such as Horizon, Skyline and Vista. But there were also odd and the unexpected names, like Vega, Echo, Colony Park and Country Squire. When I stopped, I had found more than one hundred names from cities all over the world, but I decided to focus on the îlower 48╣ states to limit myself and to suit the given space of the exhibition. After photographing the car names, I assembled a map using pieces of Yahoo Maps and fitting them together on a larger map of the original interstate highway system. I then palced the names in their proper locations and projected them onto the wall, first drawing, and then painting them. At least one city is represented from each of the 48 states, with California appropriately the home for the most names of any state. The last of my interests reflected in this work comes from years of making drawings where I trace text from different sources of printed matter, including newspapaers and magazines, greeting cards, junk mail and maps. I have become very attuned to fonts and typography, and the subtle ways they are used to convey meaning. The relationships between the drawn and the machined, the differences between medievel manuscripts and the printed word, hand-painted signs and digitally cut vinyl, have become meaningful to me through the labor involved in creating this type of work.
Brian Moss is an artist who uses drawing, photography, sculpture, installation, computers and the written word in his work. He was born in Philadelphia and studied painting at Tyler School of Art. He moved to Los Angeles in 1992 to attend graduate school in the photography program at California Institute of the Arts. After school Moss worked in art galleries for several years and since 1997 has taught at many different schools in the Los Angeles area. Important events in his life include living in Rome, Italy and traveling through Europe to see great art and architecture during his junior year in college, and the deaths of loved ones from cancer and AIDS. Major interests include astronomy and physics, landscape and the city, time, loss and memory. Moss is an inveterate collector of stuff, an avid 'news-hound' and politically activist in a left-leaning manner. He also reads the sports page first every day, and eats his meals in a very specific order.
more information: mossprojects.net