SFMOMA adds an artistic touch to Los Altos

SFMOMA adds an artistic touch to Los Altos

Rachel Lee

Project Los Altos, a culmination of several artists brought together by the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art (SFMOMA), reflects the historical past and current times of Los Altos through a combination of exhibits scattered throughout downtown. Each exhibit displays a significant aspect of the region while offering a unique perspective with visual insight. From November 9th to March 2nd, downtown Los Altos will hold one-of-a-kind art fixtures from a diverse selection of artists.

1) Cross Hatch

The intersection of State and Fourth Street hosts an expanse of vibrant colors and fractured geometric shapes. Designed by artist Jessica Stockholder from Seattle, this colorful composition captures the evolution of everyday actions as time passes by. Over time, this bright surface will be weathered down by cars and pedestrians and fade into regular, grey pavement- symbolizing the passing of time.

Stockholder said in an interview with SFMOMA, “Drawings are made on the road all the time — inadvertently with oil from cars and trucks, and with paint laid down by road maintenance crews.”

Although her display of colors may fade, it will likely make room for a different kind of art to be composed in the intersection.


2) I Do Not Know But Am Open to Learning

Village Park is home to an inflatable question mark covered in a mix of colors and shapes. Standing distinctly at twenty feet tall, this question mark is composed of connected recyclable fabrics and is bolstered by a stand and a few tight strings rooted to the ground. Artist Chris Johanson utilized his passion in the environment and society to create this eye-catching, outdoor piece.

3) Life in Silicon Valley

Photographer Alec Soth exposes life in Silicon Valley with his images of Google, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, and other companies in this technology savvy region. With photos ranging from cubicles to data centers, he aims to disrupt stereotypes placed upon the success of Silicon Valley with a more realistic and humorous view. Each photo lacks the dynamic colors of the modern age, but still casts an illuminating light on the Valley.

Soth writes, “I wanted to strip the pictures of color and shadow and depict the whiteboard of possibility this place represents.”

4) Everything Is Perfect

In putting this piece together, artist Kateřina Šedá reached out and interacted with the Los Altos community. Everything is Perfect seeks to identify and highlight unusual accomplishments such as records of those with the oldest cell phone, most umbrellas, and house with most windows in Los Altos. Involving Los Altos residents, her work is based off of special and quirky concepts regarding the town. In fact, her project is constantly open to accepting contributions online at  www.everythingisperfect.org.

5) Silicon Valley Talks

In a storefront on State Street, Christian Jankowski explores the language of future generations in his work for Project Los Altos. The solid, black room with lime green speech bubbles doubling as benches, contains multiple TV screens featuring Silicon Valley speakers who talk of things they are passionate about.

6) Back to Kansas

Back to Kansas ties in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, in a grid of colors extracted from the movie. The shades of yellow are directly from the yellow brick road, the hues of red can be found on Dorothy’s ruby slippers, and the green from Emerald City. The composition points out how individuals discern the various colors differently. The exhibit is swathed in light from windows and as the daylight decreases, the colors fade into shades of grey.


7) Winchester Trilogy

Designed by Jeremy Blake, the Winchester Trilogy showcases three movies regarding the Winchester Mansion (Mystery House) which were digitally modified by Blake. The chills from the eerie atmosphere and haunting sounds combine in such a way that immerse the audience in Sarah Winchester’s secrets. The three films, Winchester, 1901, and Century 21, reveal the psychological depths and architecture of the mansion.

8) Door Sculpture to Talk About the Idea of Different Possibilities You May Have to Process Your Life

Three prismatic, steel doors stand fixed into the grass of Lincoln Park for audiences to walk through and navigate. Each door is specifically created with different angles of opening to represent “an opportunity for change and our willingness to seek it.” The muddied grass contains the footprints of those who have walked through the doors.

Ultimately, Project Los Altos intertwines the heart and soul of Los Altos’ past and present with an artistic touch.


The previous images are only a sample of the art that can be found in Project Los Altos and

do not include all the pieces from the show.

Source: www.sfmoma.org/losaltos