My proposed project would call for a resurfacing of the refineries that border Wilmington, Ca. The colors for this project would be taken from nature; toxic plants and animals. While this superficial makeover would be an aesthetic improvement, the colors would continue to serve nature’s intended purpose, a warning to anyone consuming them, only now on their new mechanical hosts.
On a technical level, my project would call for brightly coloring the refineries that are part of the everyday landscape in my community. Each smoke stack, storage tank, pipe, girder, and every other form of structure that compose these refineries would be transformed by bright, vivid colors and patterns taken from plants and animals known to be harmful to adults, children, pets, livestock, and other animals. The conglomeration of such varied colors as purples, yellows, blues, oranges, greens and reds amongst others would create a kaleidoscopial effect as they take over the intricate and seemingly endless structures that seem to turn, twist, and climb their way skyward only to end in flares and smoke columns.
Armando Cortes (BA UCLA 2012) is an artist working and living in the industrial town of Wilmington, Ca. Originally from a small farming town in Mexico, he draws from repetitive labor and action as well as landscape, both in the fields and in industry, as sources for his work and for the processes leading to completed works.