By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Palisadians Lynn and David Pollock have long appreciated the talent and vision of artist Robert Weingarten, whose work is now on permanent display on the courtyard wall at Los Angeles Fire Department Station 69 in Pacific Palisades.
On September 6, two employees from Curatorial, Inc. placed the four-by-six-foot photographic piece commemorating 9/11. LAFD Captain Tommy Kitahata, who has been stationed at Station 69 for six years, was there to supervise the installation along with David and Weingarten.
David met Weingarten on September 11, 2001, one of the darkest days in American history, and from that, a friendship was born.
“I met Bob on 9/11,” David recalled. “My wife Lynn and I were vacationing in France, and when it happened, all the Americans at the hotel went to the only television in the hotel’s lobby to watch it all unfold. Bob was there with his wife Pam, where we bonded immediately and became good friends.”
When Bob did this series of works, David got this image.
“I was driving home one day looking for a good spot and thought this wall would be a perfect place to showcase this extraordinary piece,” David continued.
Past and present are intertwined in Weingarten’s artwork, which layers photos of the World Trade Center and the One World Trade Center. Finished in 2013, it is one of 23 pigment prints in the artist’s “Pentimento Series” featuring historic photos of significant and, in some cases, destructive events, which Weingarten overlaid with photos of the historic places as seen today.
“Pentimento” is a term used to describe the aging process of older paintings that have been painted over with fresh images. As time goes on, the original painting begins to “bleed” through the newer surface, resulting in a combination of the two works.
Today’s technology has allowed Weingarten to digitally layer photographs to create what he called “a reaffirmation of the power of photographic memory.”
Weingarten supplied the piece and the Pollocks, who live in the Alphabet Streets, were the donors.
“We’re thrilled to be able to display this historic piece at Fire Station 69, especially since we know that some of the firefighters here went to the World Trade Center on September 12,” David said. He said plans for a formal installation are in the works for the near future, with a plaque or stand to be placed nearby to explain the work.
Born in New York City in 1941, Weingarten graduated from Baruch College in 1962 with a degree in finance and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s. He gave up his 35-year business career to pursue his passions for art and photography in the 1990s, and since then, his work has been displayed in more than 100 exhibits and galleries in the United States and abroad, including George Eastman House in New York, J. Paul Getty Museum in Brentwood and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
“I’ve known David for years and this was his idea,” said Weingarten, who has been living in Malibu for the last 27 years. “For this project I decided to take pictures in black and white of what these places were like back then and add color of what it’s like today. Using today’s computer technology, I can show past and present, and have one see through the other.
“For the 9/11 one, every person who perished in those two buildings on that day is pictured. It’s basically on aluminum. It’s a sublimation print so even if it gets wet, it won’t fade or be damaged. One typical complex print like this takes about two months.”
Those who would like to donate directly to Station 69 can do so at supportlafd.kindful.com. Select LAFD Fire Station 69 from the drop-down menu titled “Select a campaign.” Donations will help firefighters secure additional life-saving equipment.
“It’s been wonderful getting to know Bob, and the fact that he lives in Malibu and I’m now in the Palisades, we could make this happen,” David said. “This is something everyone in the community can … appreciate.”
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