Los Angeles-based artist Richard Bruland (Art BFA 73) has several paintings–“New Fades”–currently on display at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery in Santa Monica, Calif. The eight textured abstracts continue an ongoing motif in Bruland’s work that examines the transition from light to dark.
The title of one painting, “Lily Burk was Here,” is jarring for those who followed the news of the murder of high school student Lily Burk. Last summer, while running errands for her mother, Burk was taken on a sunny Friday afternoon and murdered by a transient. The killing hit home for many people in LA, including Bruland.
“I didn’t know Lily Burk, but I was just horrified about her murder. I was working on the painting at the time and just remember feeling a horrible sense of loss, especially since I have a daughter about her age.”
Initially, he never referenced her full name the title (only the initials L.B.) in case someone may have thought he was trying to capitalize on a sensational news story. “Someone told me that a person dies three times: a physical death, at burial and the last time your name is spoken.
“I just didn’t want her name to go unspoken.”
A few months later Bruland received an appreciative e-mail from Burk’s mother who heard about the painting, and he restored the full title. The painting is part of the “New Fades” exhibit.
by Richard Bruland
Through Feb. 6
Lora Schlesinger Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave., #T3
Santa Monica, Calif.