Eva Lake - Cactus Flowers - 2020
My mother, a sleek woman and artist, worked for American Airlines in Los Angeles, where I was born. When I was about 3 she took me to Arizona. I remember the flight, visiting the cockpit and receiving the wings. There was also the sky, the pool and the clarity. All of these glamorous moments are part of the crystalline and clear West I saw in the mid-century. Or at least that is what I thought I saw.
I jumped on a cache of vintage Arizona images, but it was only after working for some time with them that I saw the layers of meaning for me. It wasn’t just the intense color, pristine vistas or isolated Romanticism. Of course it’s also a repositioning of the women of those times, busting out their mysteries and looking into complicated lives, lives that were portrayed as easy and breezy and were not.
But I am also at the present dealing with a really difficult, dimming mom. She’s going away, the woman I knew, just as the West I knew is going away. So I paint a picture of what has been and what could have been.