DO CUL DE SACS EXIST IN LOS ANGELES?
‘Daytona Ray’ is a colour, a craft, a sweat, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.
Schizophrenic in nature, these pitted oily forms and glittering rainbow surfaces sit sponge like, saturated with competing layers of material histories. Found, fragmented objects, bashed and branded by decades of repetitive human use are veiled with flat synthetic films of paint: the by-products of a clinical, dustless process.
Drawn to the low hum of the warm woodchip wall I can feel the curved edge of the form’s nose as my hand gropes to remember the edges of table tops, piano hoods or carved banisters. These unlikely unions form moments of perfect equilibrium that rise and fall with each shift of position. The coloured flat plains ring and slice through the arid space supported by corroded metal legs or chunks of clumsy wood that hang and thud.
Why is it I’m being so descriptive, Is it the showroom display? The familiar furniture catalogue arrangement? Or the inventory of haptic structures? Perhaps I feel the need to reiterate these objects in the form of language out of some inability to ever touch or handle them.
And to think it almost wasn’t ‘Daytona Ray’ at all, it could have been ‘Mica’ instead.
Derived from the Latin word micare, meaning to glitter, mica is the name for a group of sheet silicate minerals. Human use dates back to pre-historic times, it was known to ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chinese and Aztec civilizations. Mica has been used throughout the ages for a variety of purposes ranging from the decorative to the functional. The coloured gulal and abeer used by Hindus of north India during Holi festival contain fine crystals of mica, whilst the majestic Padmanabhapuram Palace in Trivandrum sports coloured mica windows. Thin transparent sheets of mica called ‘isinglass’ were once used for peepholes in boilers and lanterns because they were more shatter resistant than glass when exposed to extreme temperatures. These peepholes also appeared as ‘isinglass curtains’ in horse drawn carriages and early 20th century cars.
More recently mica has been used in some brands of toothpaste acting as a mild abrasive to aid in the polishing of the tooth surface. Its shimmer is used in make up to give the skin a translucent glow and it is also important in the production of pearlescent pigments. Metallic car paints contain a substrate of mica coated with another mineral which helps to produce the mechanic’s desired reflective surface.
But we settled on ‘Daytona Ray’. Another slippage in itself, you actually said Daytona Red; a Vauxhall paint colour, but I misheard you. You didn’t correct me for a while, you must have liked the glamour of it. Returning to your work I could see your mind wandering to McCracken, the sun and the boulevard fixed at a point in history captured by these two words.
– Naomi Pearce