"City in Mind: a Lyrical Map of the Concept of Los Angeles"
Summer 2011 my friend David Kipen, the founding director of Libros Schmibros, a slightly tongue-in-cheek lending library in the Boyle Heights area of eastern LA, phoned to tell me he and Libros were invited to set up shop in the community gallery of the Hammer Museum, in LA’s Westwood neighborhood. The only problem, as David saw it, was that the Hammer is an art museum, and neither he nor his partner, Colleen Jaurretche, were artists –
but I am.
“Would you like to contribute something,” he asked, “and, if so, how would you connect Libros Schmibros in Boyle Heights with Libros Schmibros in Westwood?”
“With a map,” I suggested – “and since Libros Schmibros is about books, let’s make it a literary map, populating it with authors who’ve lived and worked here.”
“Fabulous!” David responded; “You can have the back wall, above the bookcase: five feet high and 23 feet wide. Oh, and we open in three weeks; Think you can do it?"
An Illustrated Literary Map of Los Angeles, Re-Imagined and Drawn to Scale
(1 foot on the map = 1 mile of Los Angeles).
Created by J Michael Walker, 2011, with special support and sage counsel from David Kipen and Colleen Jaurretche.
Color pencil on polypropylene paper, 50" high x 276" wide.
Acquired 2012 by the Special Collections of the UCLA Library.
Permanently installed on the ground floor of Powell Library, UCLA, 2016.