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Beige and Brown Customs, 2001 - 2002

Materials: Lightjet prints on foam-core

A series of 12 photographic works depicting ‘customised’ vans from the Greater Los Angeles area. With their distinctive geometric paint jobs and outmoded colour schemes, they are reminders of hard-edge minimalist paintings and 1970s design. The series combines remnants of the car customising craze of the 1970s, with examples of more recent factory produced paint jobs that mimic and appropriate the earlier 'do it yourself ' trend. 


The images for Beige and Brown Customs were collected during a four month stay in Los Angeles from 2000 to 2001 on daily bicycle expeditions. The activity of photographing became a way of recording and processing what was different and new to me. A quasi-scientific, repeated side-on viewpoint allowed for the cataloguing of the vans and the incidental scenery. Without being aware of it at the time, I was revisiting the popular culture territory of Los Angeles artists like Ed Ruscha, John Baldassari and Judy Fiskin.

See a Beige and Brown Customs as book cover for Value Added Goods, edited by Stuart Koop

See Bruce James' review, Sydney Morning Herald

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