Quietly hung inside the sun house of a private residence in Los Angeles, Colin Glasgow’s paintings and photographs of eccentric landscapes are filled with seemingly familiar gardens, colored and glittered with borderline NC-17 sensuality. If the lush, succulent urban oasis — of what was once essentially a desert — is to be seen as the embodiment of Hollywood’s manufactured illusion in its highest order, then Glasgow’s allure is quintessentially Angeleno — luring unsuspected outsiders with its elusive seduction.
Think Paradise series by Thomas Struth meeting floral patterns of Saint Laurent or House of Holland. Density and complex layers of jungles in Brazil and Peru are accentuated by bright, vibrant blooms picked from the runway; monochromes of grand scale invaded by splashy, feisty colors of high fashion. Vogue calls it Super Nature. It is not a bad name for Glasgow, as the artificial nature of the artist’s work glosses over the surface.
It is also tempting to parallel Glasgow’s infatuation with enchanting, orchidaceous locales with that of Henri Rousseau, which later drove the customs officer to become an outsider painter. Though no sign of a living creature is present in the former, the idea of exoticism is undeniably present. After all, Los Angeles is still the land of an endless summer and enamored glamour, attracting wannabe actors and gold diggers. The artist understands this and puts it out front and center for everyone to survey.
All images courtesy of artist unless otherwise noted.