Thursday, March 14, 2013

No Splash

"No Splash" 41" x 58" Acrylic on panel

 currently up at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center for my solo show Luxury, Interrupted
on view until April 8th.

David Hockney's iconic painting  "A Bigger Splash" captured a brief moment in a sun-drenched afternoon of someone enjoying the luxury of a dive into a pool. As a gay artist living in West Hollywood, the painting interested me for a variety of reasons, however, it was not until I began working as a live-in nanny for a family in the Hollywood Hills that I really began to respond to Hockney's image.

On Thursday mornings, while I looked after the toddler twins under my care, The housekeepers and pool cleaner would arrive to do their job. By noon, I would put the toddlers down for their nap and then would go into the living room for my break. With high glass walls dramatically showcasing the backyard pool and majestic landscape of the Hollywood Hills, I had a stunning view. Every Thursday would have the same routine, I did my job while the housekeepers and pool cleaner did theirs.

As I worked with the kids, I would observe the housekeepers and pool cleaner working. I identified with them because, much like me, they were coming into this private space to work.

In the two years I worked for the family full time as a nanny, I developed a friendship with the housekeepers, gardener, and pool cleaner that was the foundation for the work on this blog. When I was given the opportunity to showcase my work at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, I created the title "Luxury, Interrupted" because I felt that phrase best described the intent of my work.

Under that exhibition title, I revisited the David Hockney painting I had been drawn to for so long and decided I wanted to respond and interrupt his painting. His focus was the splash left behind by someone enjoying a lazy afternoon dip in the pool, while I knew, from my experience, that my focus would be the moment when the pool cleaner comes to work.

I titled it "No Splash" because there is nothing splashy about housekeepers and pool cleaners coming to do their job. They come and go without leaving much of a trail other than the spotless windows and the pristine pool that eventually need maintenance again.

Just like Hockney was interested in capturing a fleeting moment in time by his focus on the splash, I was interested in capturing a fleeting moment in time by my focus on the workers.


  1. Enjoyed meeting you so much tonight. Looked up your BlogSpot right away and as soon as I saw the painting I said "David Hockney." So I really laughed when I read about it. Joan and I loved your work. Good luck! Peg

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