Hollywood by Mateo Blanco: Celebrating 100 years of the original marker for La La Land

Hollywood - Mateo Blanco by Juan Tena
© Juan Tena

Mateo Blanco, dreamer of dreams, joins in the celebration with HOLLYWOOD BY MATEO BLANCO, his clever conceptual piece.

High up on the mountainside of Griffith Park, overlooking the city of Los Angeles, the 45 foot tall white letters, spelling out the name of the dream factory that seduces the world, span 35 feet.

This iconic sign is instantly recognizable– so the artist, Mateo Blanco cleverly spells it out, placing the letters in that undulating pattern that in itself is enough to evoke the power of the image.

Mateo Blanco, a Colombian American artist who lives in Miami, has had a longtime interest in expressing the lure of Hollywood. He has explored the power of the image and fame in his highly original portraits of iconic screen sirens like Jennifer Lawrence, whose portrait he recreated using peanuts, Madonna, Dolly Parton and many Marvel superheroes, Avatar characters as well as beloved Star War characters.

In his latest piece , HOLLYWOOD BY MATEO BLANCO, we can see how the stark white background gives power to the image: white, the color of Marilyn Monroe’s dress; white , the color of the lights that shine and make movies possible; white, the first word uttered when the director begins to shoot; white, the color of the gleaming smiles, the diamonds, the very screen on which all our dreams and movies are projected.

Hollywood - Mateo Blanco by Juan Tena
© Juan Tena

The direct placement of the letters on this plain, unadorned white background has a strong visual impact- the message is clear, the power of the word itself evokes the power of the industry: nothing more needs to be said. The word “Hollywood” says it all. Every dream, every movie, every scandal, every happy or tragic ending is contained in this word. Spelled out in this highly specific manner makes a strong statement. This is not just a word, this is not just a sign, this is an artist pointing out how in thrall we are to a century of myth-making, of storytelling, to the very idea of the place where movies are made.

When people say “ a Hollywood ending” they mean a happy ending. It is a sign of hope, of essential optimism, a recognition of the power of dreams, of our deep need to believe that happy endings are possible, that everything will work out in the end. HOLLYWOOD BY MATEO BLANCO is a visual touchstone that puts us in touch with that dream.

Mateo Blanco is represented by Rosenbaum Contemporary , a premier Fine Art Gallery inSouth Florida that regularly organizes museum-level, curated exhibits featuring Post-war, Modern and Contemporary masters.

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