ESCAPE FROM LA: VOLUME 2020
Escape from LA: Volume 2020, 2021
(Screen print, iridescent oil stick
85 x 55 x 1.5 in
215.9 x 139.7 x 3.8 cm
Ah, Hollywood, the land of dreams and glory... not to mention raging wildfires and burning materialism. Just as everything in New York seems to have a deeper story while Los Angeles lives and dies by appearances, this piece pushes the bad news to the background and paints a simplistic façade in front of it. No longer in control at all (but unwilling to admit it, even to himself) after being imprisoned by California's state of emergency, our anti-hero powers through. He's desperate to make the best of whatever life serves him, indulging in the temporary pleasures of luxury and trendy tourism, taunting even the virus itself by taking a big bite of its mythos and swallowing it whole.
This time around, XVALA has chosen to make reference to the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The figure, once again in the form of Homer Simpson, seems to view himself as the Salvator Mundi – the savior of the world – as he grasps a tourist-trap imitation of the celestial orb. The classic searchlights of Hollywood scream across the sky, seeking to draw in anyone who might be susceptible to their siren song of fame, luxury, and power. And, savior or not, we find the everyman trying to hide his prison garb with fads and luxury, so he seems susceptible enough. Meanwhile the whole city is burning down around him. Will he come through and save us or will he succumb to his urges and allow us all to be dashed on the rocks? Is anyone looking out for us at all? Can we be rescued from the chaos we've created? That is the question XVALA has placed before us.