Monday, August 8, 2016

Photo Essay: The Hollywood Sculpture Garden, Hidden in the Hills

In Hollywood, you've got to claw your way to the top.

So why waste time competing with all those other artists for space at somebody else's gallery, when you can turn your own home into one?

And why stop with your house, when you can transform your yard into an elaborate sculpture garden, visible from both streets on either side of it?

After all, who just lives at home anymore?



That's more or less the story behind artist Robby Gordon's enclave in the Beachwood Canyon section of the Hollywood Hills. He's only lived there for four years, but he's settled in pretty well, having installed quite a few pieces into his Hollywood Sculpture Garden on a slippery hillside, strewn with pine needles.



It features the "Chain" sculpture by June Diamond, a dancer by Ed Hart, as well as works by Bruce Bermudez and Robby Gordon himself...



...whose paint-splattered tires form a kind of retaining wall at the bottom of the hill—and also let you know that you've come to the right place.



At the top of the hill, Brian Carlson's "Return of the Ancients" dangles from a tree behind two figures that also hang, arms interlocked.



A tree up there has been yarn bombed...



...and a bright pink headless figure (painted by Robby) stands glowing in the sun to greet you.



A disembodied torso by George Dominguez marks a path to the garden...



...but it's so perilous, you can't get very far.



It's better to view the painted ladies from the street.



Up next to his house, Robby has also painted his garage and driveway...



...as well as the women who flank Brian Carlson's "Flamenco Sol"...



...perched upon the roof of the garage.



If you're lucky enough to be invited inside Robby's house—because you're an artist too, or a student, or a philanthropist attending one of his parties—pay no mind to the gimp who greets you.



The interior space is where you'll find The Hollywood Gallery, a showcase for Robby's textural paintings that are literally brimming with paint gobs...



...many of which are best viewed from behind a pair of special 3D glasses that Robby will let you borrow.



He considers himself a painter, but he's really a sculptor of paint—creating mixed media works that literally jump off the wall at you, with layers upon layers of colors that have been brushed, smeared, and squirted from a syringe onto the canvas (as is the case with his "Fantasy" painting).



And so, his oil and acrylic paint workshop is a work of art in and of itself.



Robby also dabbles in interior design, custom painting window coverings (including all of his own) and creating a number of abstract ceramics. He also designed his entire bedroom furniture set himself.



He probably gets the most attention for his wearable art—including hand-painted, one-of-a-kind neckties and his own line of eyeglass frames.



And in those corners where he hasn't gotten the chance to cover every surface in gallons of paint, the rooms are awash in a rotating cycle of colored light.

There's a sense that Robby doesn't "do" art for the money—and that he probably doesn't need it.

He uses his studio to teach others how to paint. He shares his home (inside and out) with other artists who are looking for a unique exhibition space to attract the attention of gallery owners and curators.

And if you send him a receipt for a $100 donation to your favorite humanitarian or peace organization, he'll send you one of his paintings—for free (plus a nominal shipping charge).

You can see more photos of Robby's studio and The Hollywood Gallery and find out how to make an appointment here.

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Photo Essay: Tile House, Hollywood Hills
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Photo Essay: The Flora and Fauna of a Secret Native Garden
Photo Essay: Noah's Art