We had the good fortune of connecting with Dean and Laura Larson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dean and Laura, what makes you happy? Why?
We have been married to each other for 34 years. What makes us happy is spending time together. Whether it is at home or traveling abroad, we really enjoy each other’s company. Each day when our work is done, we truly enjoy sitting out on our little balcony overlooking Los Angeles, having a glass of fine wine, and talking about how the day was for each of us. One thing that brings us together is the fact that we are both Artists. We have been creating art for most of our individual lives. Dean has spent his life in the field of Photography. Laura has spent her life creating sculpture and mixed media installations. For the past 5 years or so we have been working collaboratively on photographic images that combine Dean’s digitally manipulated landscapes with Laura’s sculptural images. We love the challenge of melding our two individual visions into one final piece of work. We both are concerned with animal extinction and have felt the need to make some kind of comment on it. Our latest ongoing project involves images of hybrid animal/human creatures who are both observing us and existing in their own realm. While they don’t overtly judge us, they are concerned with our wellbeing as well as that of the animals who share this planet with us. How does this make us happy? It gives us an opportunity to reach out to others, sparking a conversation about the future of all creatures on the earth and to send a message of hope for the future.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The thing that sets us apart from most other artists is Trust. We have been making our own individual art for a combined period of over 80 years. Consequently, we approach each part of our collaborative projects from different points of view. Molding these two separate approaches into one cohesive work of art requires trust in the other person’s talent, honesty, and opinion. We can take each other’s critiques at each juncture in the process trusting that it is being done for the good of the work. One thing we are proud of was our show at LAAA/Gallery 825 called The Council Gathers in Time. It was a 17 inch tall x 23.5 foot horizontal photographic banner with more than 200 layers of images. It depicted a timeline for the hybrid creatures visitation to the earth to warn us about a 6th Mass Animal Extinction. Anyone who has tried being an artist knows that it is not easy. The only way to overcome the challenge of continuing to be an artist is through persistence. It has helped us to have had regular jobs that were tangential to the field and that gave us time and the ability to do the kind of work that we wanted to do. We want the world to see our story and to be mindful of the state of Nature at the moment. Just as Nature evolves continually, so does our work. Hopefully, those viewing our story will become more aware of what is happening in Nature and the consequences of ignoring it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would make sure that our visitors spent some quality time at The Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. Charlie’s Coffee Shop in the West Patio is a wonderful place to have a hearty breakfast to start the day. And the Market offers many other unique shops to see, not to mention it is right next door to the Grove. After visiting the Market, we would head down Fairfax to visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Petersen Automotive Museum, and/or the new Motion Picture Museum, all clustered around the intersection of Fairfax and Wilshire Blvds. Another day could consist of going downtown for an early lunch at Phillipes’ – Home of the Original French Dip Sandwich. After that tasty bite, we would drive west on Sunset Blvd, from downtown to the ocean. Along the way, we would pass Dodger Stadium, the Silverlake district, Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Greystone Manor (a great place to stop and walk around – while your there, try to guess which movies have been filmed there), Beverly Hills residential area, UCLA, Brentwood, the Pacific Palisades, and finally the California Coast – just in time for an afternoon cocktail at one of the restaurants on the beach. Another outing would be to go to the Getty Center just off of the 405 freeway in West Los Angeles. It is chock full of great Art and has a wonderful garden designed by Robert Irwin. It also has several options for a delicious lunch. And, no trip to visit us would be complete without spending some time on our little balcony overlooking LA and enjoying a glass of fine wine while talking about the happenings of the day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
These people have been very instrumental in our success over the years: Peter Mays and the Los Angeles Art Association; Lisa Ames/Art and Architecture Presents and the Fine Arts Building Downtown L.A. ; and Andi Campognone, Museum Director and Senior Curator at Lancaster Museum of Art and History – MOAH.
Facebook: Laura Larson ; Dean Larson
Dean and Laura Larson