Paula Scher x Maps
Interested in a whole new spin on maps? Graphic designer Paula Scher’s paintings of maps speak not only of specific places but of the whole feel and movement of a city. On display now in the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, this collection of silkscreen images are taking Angelinos for a ride. Entitled “Paris,” this map may at first appear fairly predictable, showing familiar travel routes in and out of the city, divided by the Seine River through it’s center. It is fun, welcoming, and colorful.
Getting up-close and personal with the painting reveals the density and laying involved in its creation. Using tiny paint brushes, Scher reveals the density of the city through the density of its text. Scher says she prefers when she has actually walked the streets she is actually mapping. Directionally, the words seem to invite the viewer to go a certain way, onto the next place, not stopping, keep going, just like traffic on a thoroughfare. The noise of Paris, the movement of Paris, suddenly become real.
“Manhattan At Night” not only displays city districts but also chronicles actual population figures on the side. It’s funny how a sort of census can seem strict and unrelenting, and simultaneously, meaningful to be counted. Scher commented that if she couldn’t fit the city names on the land portion of the map, she just put them in the water. She loves how people immediately go up to her maps and look for their hometown, placing themselves within the piece. We love how Scher shows us a whole new side to the City.
Paula Scher. “Maps” @ Pacific Design Center, Suite B231
Opening September 19th. On view through November 10th.
8687 Melrose Avenue. West Hollywood, CA 90069