ARTISTS AT LE SIRENUSE
Amalfi Dr., 2017
On the landing by the glass door that leads onto the terrace of Aldo’s Champagne Bar and Seafood Grill stands a magnificent Strelitzia nicolai, or giant bird of paradise plant. Amalfi Dr. is a road in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, parallel for part of its length to Capri Drive. It’s the kind of place where a Strelitzia would look right at home. Alex Israel takes this idea for a walk up the stairs.
Based in Los Angeles, where he was born in 1982, Alex Israel engages with the particular culture of the local film and media industries. For Israel, the American Dream, as embodied by the Los Angeles mythos, remains affecting and potent. Channeling celebrity culture as well as the slick appearance and aspirations of the entertainment capital, Israel approaches his hometown with an uncanny coupling of local familiarity and anthropological curiosity. His work alludes to both California cool and calculated brand creation, embracing clichés and styles that exude the hygienic optimism endemic to the local scene.