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Tarzan and Tarzana,2005

Tarzan and Tarzan

Project Description

Sandow Birk designed terrazzo paving areas and porcelain enamel steel panels for station platforms. Artwork designs relate to the town of Tarzana as named after Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most famous creation and hero of more than twenty of his novels, Tarzan of the Apes. Sandow Birk selected the zebra skin and the giraffe skin as patterns, readily recognizable and identifiable with Africa, and reproduced the entire 28 chapter, 172 page text of the book “Tarzan of the Apes”. The text has been printed in two portions, one for each platform, so that over the course of repeated visits passengers can read the book in its entirety.

Artist Statement

"I would like viewers to actually be able to read the text of the book that the town was named after, and to have a longer, deeper relationship with the project and therefore with the town, the place, and with the history of the city."

About the Artist

Sandow Birk has received awards including the COLA Individual Artist Fellowship, the J. Paul Getty Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a NEA Grant. He is a Los Angeles artist whose work has dealt with Los Angeles in its entirety - from inner city barrios to the 1992 Civil Disturbances, OJ Simpson, the LAPD, gangs, surfing, and skateboarding. Recent projects include the film "In Smog and Thunder" which documents a fictional war between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a re-writing and illustrating of Dante's "Divine Comedy" set in contemporary urban America."


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