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LAist Interview: Whitney Bedford

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Whitney Bedford is a truly unique artist. Her subjects- shipwrecks, pirates, and impending disaster, are far from the norm of what L.A based painters are doing these days.

In her most recent exhibit at Cherry & Martin, Bedford takes on one of the biggest celebrities of the roaring 20’s Harry Houdini.

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The life-sized images in ink & oil on paper catch the showman mid –escape, in his most harrowing moments. Some of the lines are so simple, yet there he stands before us, familiar & captivating.

Also on display, is a LARGE shipwreck painting, the sky boldly colored in contrast to the bright ocean, whose frightening waves of paint are about to make driftwood of a ship.

With only a few days left to catch this original exhibit (it ends on Sat. Oct. 27!); I was able to snag an interview for LAist.

LAist: After studying & living abroad for a few years; what was it about L.A. that made you want to settle here?

WB: I grew up on the East Coast; I’m from Baltimore, went to RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and then got a Fulbright in Berlin and ended up living in Europe for a few years. For a while it was a vampire-like cycle of snowstorms and vodka. Then I got into UCLA’S MFA (Master of Fine Arts Program) and it was the best program in the country at the time. It was an opportunity to study with some of my idols, like John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Paul McCarthy, Charlie Ray and of course Roger Herman.