La Salsera at the Getty Museum
Los Angeles, California
Lead Artist: Artist, activist and UCLA professor emeritus Judith Baca
Commissioned by: J. Paul Getty Museum
Pulp Studio helped to bring American artist, activist and UCLA professor emeritus Judith Baca’s most recent vision to life.
Baca’s latest mural, commissioned by the Getty Center, is titled La Salsera (The Salsa Dancer).
La Salsera depicts a woman dancing through MacArthur Park in Los Angeles while on her way to catch a bus on Wilshire Boulevard, a major thoroughfare used by domestic workers traveling daily to jobs on the Westside. Behind the woman, Baca included caretakers of children pushing strollers in the park.
“The woman in the mural is filled with monarch butterflies, a symbol of immigrants and migrations,” says Baca. “La Salsera represents the transformation of hardship into resilience and joy, death and loss into a celebration of life—definitive aspects of Latinx life and so integral to the Los Angeles experience.”
La Salsera, which is 15 feet wide, 14 feet high, and weighs nearly 2,000 pounds, consists of three tempered and laminated glass panels. Pulp Studio collaborated with Baca to print her hand-drawn work with monarch images using their D2Gtm process, creating the first direct-to-glass digital mural that incorporates two layers of design. Baca’s innovative technique involves printing a digitally created image on glass with finely-ground glass frit. The mineral colors meld with the glass on firing, while designs on the back and front of the glass create added dimensionality. The result is a long-lasting mural with strong colors less likely to fade from sun exposure. The mural will be on view at the Getty Center for a year.
“La Salsera is an example of how Baca continues to experiment and innovate in her Digital Mural Lab at the Social and Public Art Resource Center after four decades of producing some of the most iconic murals around Los Angeles,” says Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “We have been fortunate to work with her on this special commission at the same time we are showcasing her project for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.”
“Judy is a remarkable contemporary muralist who continues not only to tell untold stories, but also works to overcome the often-perilous fragility of the mural form,” says Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the Getty Museum. “The commission represents an evocative coda to the huge loss of Renaissance murals and the continuing difficulties of preserving murals in L.A. The new technique results in a mural that dances and glistens in the light. It will astonish our visitors.”