The Weird Places That Have Inspired Alex Israel

by School of Doodle

Alex Israel is an artist living in Los Angeles whose work evokes visions of a California sunset (or, if you’re hungry, a big beautiful tub of sherbet). We asked him to name the 5 weirdest place he’s gotten inspiration. Artists, take note!

  1. I was watching The Hills on MTV when I thought I might try renting some movie props and putting them into the gallery, as temporary readymades.
From LC to Heidi to this?

2. I was at a prop house in Hollywood, when I came across four giant replica Easter Island Head sculptures, made of Styrofoam. I knew immediately that one day, I’d want to rent them and put them on the beach. Fortunately, this dream was realized a few years later, as Easter Island Venice Beach, my contribution to the Hammer Museum’s 2012 Venice Beach Biennial.

3. I was crossing the bridge from Treasure Island to The Mirage, in Las Vegas, and I thought to myself: I should make portraits, in the form of a talk show. This experience in Vegas was the generative moment for As It Lays. I later started watching Oprah, for inspiration.

Israel (right) making a “portrait” of billboard star Angelyne in an episode of As It Lays

4. I was on a hike in Ojai with a friend, and we had gotten totally lost, and that’s the moment I realized that I was going to make my movie, SPF-18. It wasn’t until later that I came up with the title.

5. I was stopped at a red light on Sunset Blvd and Doheny, staring out the car window, listening to my favorite DJ, Karen Sharp, on KOST 103.5 FM. I thought I might transform the moment into an artwork. The moment morphed into my first mural installation: Valet Parking.

Valet Parking

Check out “Tumblr Vs. The Museum” to hear Alex elaborate on his art and how growing up in the Internet Age affects it (spoiler alert: a lot!).

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.