In historical paintings of religious subjects, artists traditionally represented the spiritual status of gods, kings, and saints by surrounding the body of these holy figures with a luminous formation suggestive of radiating shafts of light. Variously referred to as the aureole, nimbus, or glory, notions of this motif have been in the vernacular since before Christianity and continue to have meaning in cultures throughout the world.
At the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, we celebrated a typical glass corner of a six-story apartment building with our own Glory. At over five stories high it is visible from a distance of several blocks. Rather than celebrating a holy personage, our gleaming frame highlights the absence of a religious icon and calls into question the status of a prosaic element in the urban landscape. By inviting the viewer to fill in the blank, we ask what she sees as sacred in her daily commute through Los Angeles, a place that hosts a spectrum of outlooks on spirituality and where celebrity confers a status near that of holiness.
On close inspection, Corner Glory suggests the teeth of a comb or long eyelashes jutting out from the building. The combination of mirror polished stainless steel and spiky shapes blurs the distinction between surface and background to give the impression of an immaterial presence emanating from the corner. As the viewer moves along the boulevards, the reflection of moving cars and changing lighting conditions transform the appearance of Corner Glory into effervescent light.