Selections from Last Days, Graffiti Series (1988-1989)

Posse Boys
oil on canvas
62” x 50”
Phyllis Davidson figurative Painting
Brave Starr
oil on canvas
42” x 52”

Phyllis Davidson figurative Painting
Sad Boy’s Gambit
oil on canvas
46” x 38”

kitchen still life with graffiti
Setting Free the Bears
oil on canvas
52” x 52”

Phyllis Davidson figurative Painting with graffiti

On the west side of Los Angeles where I used to live, small 1940 vintage homes were being demolished to make way for high-rise apartments and condominiums.

These were simple houses so there's very little of the poetry and mystery that one finds in the grand old ruins of once majestic homes, yet it seems that something holds my fascination--something still retained in their walls; something crystallized from the energy of human emotion and activities of human nerves.

Once a house is vacated and scheduled for demolition, it may spend weeks or even months on death row. During this interim a strange and varied procession of occupants seek shelter, refuge, and/or recreation in the vacant houses. This series of paintings (which includes Posse Boys, Phantasy and Sister Torch, Sad Boy's Gambit, Brave Starr, and Setting Free the Bears) is about those last days.

The more graffiti I saw, the more impressed I was by the tremendous energy contained in a well-done "tag" or "piece”. Highly stylized, broadly imaginative, and bursting with color, this amalgam of several "pieces" became the background for Setting Free the Bears