Today's mosaic harkens back to the 33rd Olympiad, right here in Los Angeles in 1984. Who remembers that?
I do, I do! And not for the athletics so much as the cultural events, like seeing Derek Jacobi play Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. And for the absolute lack of traffic on the freeways, in spite of dire warnings to the contrary. But I digress.
Guillermo Wagner Granizo created the Olympic Fantasy mural/mosaic to commemorate the event. It's painted square tiles, so whether it's a mural or a mosaic is blurry but what the heck. It's recently been cleaned and restored and looks beautiful.
Thank you, Professor Dan Lambert, for the picture above.
As for those tiles--all 2, 232 of them, each was painted and glazed separately. Granizo had 12 weeks to make the artwork, without even a sketch to start with. The finished mural is 93 feet wide by 24 feet tall.
The artwork is at Cal State Los Angeles, on the west side of the PE Building, where the Judo competition was held in '84. And the mural was there then, having been commissioned by the Olympic Organizing Committee in advance. Only not too far in advance--remember that the artist had to complete it in 12 weeks! This picture of the mural "in situ" comes from an article on the Cal State LA website.
There's a fantastic off-sized photo of it here, on Flickr.
You can also follow pictures of the mural being re-installed on a special Facebook page.
Here is another tile mural by the late Mr. Granizo, a picture called "Campus" in the Student Union basement, shown at right; it was installed in 1979. He died in 1997.
Want more? There's an incredible online collection of his work titled "An Autobiography in Pictures" at the University of Pennsylvania, of all places. Garfiled Library. Many of the panels are public pieces of art in Granizo's home of Benecia, CA. Our Olympic Fantasy is number 108 of 116. And they are all beautiful and worth looking at--just give yourself time. Like an hour.