Southern California Photography by Alan Pavlik, editor and publisher of Just Above Sunset
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Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

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Visitors from February 28, 2006, 10:00 am Pacific Time to date -

Monday, 10 July 2006
Scary Stuff
Topic: Oddities

Scary Stuff

De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, CaliforniaThe De L'Esprie "Path of Life" - commissioned for the Culver City Senior Center, July 2001, installed March 2003 - on Overland Avenue, across from the Sony Studios (formerly MGM). Inscription at the base - "Wisdom, maturity, joy, passion, and the exuberance for life that takes place every day within the walls of this fine structure are captured here forever in this bronze."

If only it weren't so frightening, and manic. Maybe it's the hyper-realism. Maybe it's the unrelenting cheerfulness, mixed with nothing else at all - no second thoughts, no sense of "mind" or anything like that. Maybe it's the "born again" business (see below), where the negative, or even the neutral, is something you just never acknowledge. Utter joy can be just as frightening as determined and pure malevolence. It's the purity, perhaps.

From the sculptor's website -
... Petite, brunette, and beautiful, De L' Esprie is an energetic, serious professional, one of the few living artists to be recognized and honored by the Laguna "Pageant of the Masters," who performed some of her various sculptures. In order to fully appreciate this amazing artist and her work, one has to experience them, be in their presence as it were, if only for a few moments.

Born in Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Canada, De L'Esprie comes by her talent naturally. Her mother is a painter, and her sister, a miniaturist (a sculptor, but in miniature form.) She grew up just outside the city of Montreal next to a Mohawk Indian Reservation.

... De L'Esprie attended California State University, Northridge and completed her degrees at Loyola University in Montreal. She first studied counseling and then business before turning to sculpture. Believing she could not make ends meet with art alone, De L'Esprie thought her business and counseling degrees would open doors to more lucrative employment. But then she realized her artwork was paying her way through university and could sustain her afterwards. After obtaining her degrees, she attended Brandis Art Institute taking both private and group classes over the course of four years.

... During this time of artistic exploration, De L'Esprie discovered truths about herself that changed her life forever. "I've always had a lot of nervous energy,"she explained. "I never felt like I belonged anywhere, always felt lonely, like there was something missing in my life. I spent most of my time chasing rainbows that didn't exist thinking they would fill that gap. Then I was introduced to a Messianic Jew, a woman who was born Jewish, but believes Jesus is the promised Messiah. She invited me to join her local Bible Study. When I read the Bible before, it never made any sense, but this time, God's word became alive in my heart. Between reading on my own and listening to the Bible Study teaching each week, I realized why my life had felt so empty. I needed Jesus Christ to bridge the gap between God and me so I could have peace within and peace with God as well.

"One day after class, I went to the mountains, climbed a hill, and spent the next two and a half hours praying to God. I confessed I was a sinner and owned up to every wrong thing I had ever done and believe me, there was a lot! Then I asked God to forgive and cleanse me from my sins, and that I wanted Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I haven't been the same since that day. All the feelings of loneliness, not fitting in, not having any purpose in life disappeared. I belong to Almighty God now, and He loves me as a precious daughter. My purpose in life is to give Him glory in all I say, do, and create. My days of chasing vain illusions are over. Now the only rainbows I seek are those in the sky after a rain shower."
The work is unsettling. The elderly who pass by it as they enter the senior center avert their eyes.

This woman's work is all over Southern California. Welcome to our nightmare.

De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, California

De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, California

De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, California

De L'Esprie - The Path of Life - Culver City Senior Center, Culver City, California

Posted by Alan at 6:52 PM PDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006 6:56 PM PDT

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