Wyatt has designed two 52-feet long ceramic tile murals for the end walls of the Wilshire/Western Station. People Coming presents portraits of members of the community as they approach the viewer; People Going shows some members of that group walking away. Portions of the famous Wiltern Theater, located just across from the station entrance, can be seen in the back-ground. Painted in Wyatt's realistic and dramatic style, the mural's theme is at once the diversity of Los Angeles, its possible future, and a metaphor for a city always in transition.
"I am interested in connecting with people through my art. In today's corporate world the human element seems often to get lost—I try to bring back the human connection by monumentalizing people rather than buildings and objects. Hopefully, people will connect to the idea of how important they are to making the city, and mass transit, work.
It was a challenge trying to translate the sensitivity of painting into tile. I spent over six months just experimenting with this new medium. Most of the finished tiles had to be fired and refired many times to get the variety of color and depth I wanted. It was a very slow process. But that made it all the more rewarding."
About the Artist
RICHARD WYATT was born in Lynwood and raised in Compton and the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. He is one of the region's most noted muralists and is known for his realistic figurative works which honor both common people and historic figures. His series of works on the history of the Central Avenue jazz scene were exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. His public works can be seen at the Capitol Records Building, the Watts Towers Art Center, and Spike's Joint on Melrose in Los Angeles.
Locations: Wilshire/Western Station