“Nobody walks in L.A” (or so the song goes) and certainly the paintings of Milton Antonio Jurado (nee ‘Maja’) in this exhibition reveal a fascination with the urban landscape as seen and experienced from the automobile. The paintings offer a fresh perspective on the familiar, often showing us Los Angeles landmarks as seen by twilight or at night--the Capitol Records tower, Hollywood Blvd. from the Pantages Theatre, the Pasadena Freeway North, and the Metro Station from Long Beach Avenue. Daylight shows a lone car passing over the 1st Street Bridge into downtown, a quiet study of the boathouse at Echo Park, and an iconic, low-angle view of City Hall with a distant, foreground bouquet of roses. Maja’s automobiles are loosely rendered, in a way that makes them fun and gives them a classic, timeless feel while still capturing the phantasmagoria of the L.A. driving experience. People are mostly absent here, but we understand that the drivers in these automobiles are us, and that this is the city both of our dreams and daily life. Notable among these original oils is the large painting pictured above called ‘Hummingbird’ (from the series ‘Tropical Surrealism’) that shows the eponymous bird sipping nectar from the lips of an Indian (whether male or female is left to the viewer’s imagination, as is any particular ethnicity). ‘Hummingbird’ is intended, the artist says, to convey the “sweetness of the people,” the connectedness of indigenous peoples to nature. It makes a lovely counterpoint to the urban imagery that otherwise dominates the show.
***Helping us to celebrate the opening of Maja's paintings, The Rumor Mill is proud to present the rockin’ sounds of Radius in live performance. This is a band you won’t want to miss. Bring yourself. Bring your friends. You’ll be glad you did!