Kent Twitchell paints larger-than-life Special Olympics heroes

July 23, 2015 - photo frame

You competence not know muralist Kent Twitchell by name, though if you’ve spent any time pushing around Los Angeles, you’ve seen his work. His eight-story high portraits of L.A. Chamber Orchestra musicians glance down as we expostulate north by downtown on a 110, and his Freeway Lady is a internal favorite.

His many new plan is one of 3 murals consecrated to commemorate a 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. Twitchell was given no specific instructions, though he says that determining who to paint was easy.

“I asked for a many iconic figure that would paint a Special Olympics and everybody came adult with Loretta Claiborne, who was a past champion and only is one of those charismatic, smashing kind of people,” Twitchell said. “Rafer Johnson, of course, is one of a biggest athletes of all time.”

(Twitchell’s sketches for his Special Olympics picture hang in his Downtown Los Angeles studio. Photo Credit: Elyssa Dudley)

Visiting a picture site is customarily a initial partial of Twitchell’s process. He sketches a wall and all around it — trees, travel lamps and even parked cars — before he starts formulation a mural. But delays in securing a wall meant doing things differently this time.

“This was not suspicion of to be a ideal wall for me,” Twitchell says. “By a time a wall came about, we was already going to paint Rafer Johnson and Loretta Claiborne, and that’s dual people, and here we have a wall 120 feet wide-by-30 feet high. But that’s good with me since we adore carrying a lot of disastrous space. It only gives so many some-more energy to a figures.”

After he’s photographed his subjects and combined their portraits to his sketches of a wall, Twitchell is prepared to start painting. He paints tiny sections of a picture on polytab, a cloth-like fabric that can be adhered to many walls. Twitchell works in his studio with a assistance of a few assistants. Once they’re done, a picture can be commissioned in only a day or two.

“On designation day, customarily we take all of a apart grids and line them adult only to make certain they all fit together properly,” says Marie Rooney-Hardwick, Twitchell’s assistant. “We do some alterations, a small painting. Apart from that, a rest of a work is only requesting it loyal to a wall.”

(Twitchell beside his picture median by a designation process. Photo Credit: Larry Hirshowitz)

Twitchell says he gives his “giants” neutral expressions, so that interpretation is left to a viewer. His newest portraits are no exception. Clad in red and blue jaunty warm-up suits, they glance down during a travel from about 30 feet high on a wall during 1147 South Hope Street in Downtown L.A. He says they’re partial of an ongoing array called, “Monuments to American Cultural Heroes.”

“I grew adult in a ’40s and ’50s where it was unequivocally common to have sports heroes, film heroes,” Twitchell says. we consider it was a good approach to grow adult since we attempted to be a best we could to be some-more like your hero. we consider heroes are unequivocally critical and we consider America is a reduction for not carrying some-more heroes. These are dual true, walking-around, mythological people that merit all they’re getting.”


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