20 november 2019

Doug Aitken #2

Doug Aitken’s new studio, Washington Boulevard, Culver City.

Driving along Washington Boulevard four years ago, he saw a hand-lettered ‘For Sale’ sign in front of a transmission repair shop. When Aitken stopped to enquire, he was greeted gruffly by the owner, a man in oily overalls who said he would only sell to someone who worked with his hands. Aitken said he was an artist and it turned out that the owner had done work for Robert Rauschenberg and other artists over the years. After months of courtship, Aitken convinced the owner to sell him the place.

It was covered in greasy soot and contained 12 huge hoists for cars, but it was also a rare 1940s bow-truss structure with arched wood ceilings held in place by cross beams instead of interior columns. Following the sale, the owner called him to report that if he redid the signage atop the building within three months, he wouldn’t need a permit to do so. The vertical stack of signs now glows with Aitken’s images of a sunset and the phrase ‘I Don’t Know’. Illuminated at night, it beams across the 405 Freeway.
Though Aitken had designed and built a house in Venice, he felt the need for additional studio space with room for the material. ‘I wanted to have more intimacy, living with works before they went away from me and into the public. I had this desire to live with these physical pieces, so I could change them over time.’

The Washington Boulevard studio, 8,000 sq ft with 35 ft ceilings, is a showcase for individual works such as the portfolio of photographs that he put together for the November 2019 issue of Wallpaper*
(bron: Wallpaper*, foto's: Mark Mahaney)

> Doug Aitken

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