Sony Pictures Entertainment has plans to install a major work of public art called “Rainbow” by renowned American multimedia artist Tony Tasset, it was announced by Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and Co-Chairman Amy Pascal.
“This is an exciting moment for us,” Lynton remarked. “Because this lot dates back nearly a century to the earliest days of film, we wanted to commission a work of art that honors our history and makes a lasting contribution to our studio, Culver City and the community-at-large. We are grateful to Tony Tasset for his inspired vision and to the City for embracing it.”
“Culver City has this amazing emphasis on the value of art in the community, and we are thrilled to be able to deliver something as memorable as Tony’s ‘Rainbow’ sculpture will be,” said Pascal. “The beauty of this iconic design is that it both harkens back to a wonderful era of film-making and celebrates the power of imagination that continues to inspire our work today.”
The “Rainbow” concept by Tasset was approved unanimously by the Culver City Cultural Affairs Commission subcommittee on May 10.
“Sony Pictures’ decision to create something as remarkable as the ‘Rainbow’ on its lot is above-and-beyond our expectations of the Public Art requirement and speaks volumes about Sony’s commitment to Culver City,” said Mayor Micheál O’Leary. “The City Council is pleased that the Cultural Affairs Commission overwhelmingly agreed to support this terrific project.”
“The Sony Pictures Studios lot has been integral to the history of the ‘Heart of Screenland’ since Thomas Ince established the working lot in 1915,” said Julie Lugo Cerra, Culver City Historian. “It’s a thrill to see Sony Pictures adding to their contribution to Culver City’s entertainment cultural heritage with this exciting project by such a talented artist.”
Funding for the $1.6 million project comes in part from Sony Pictures’ Public Art Requirement related to the studio’s LOT construction project of two new office buildings and a parking lot, which opened in 2009 and were awarded last fall with LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The design of the “Rainbow” involves a 94- by 188-foot steel rainbow that spans much of the distance between the studio’s Main Street and the Madison Gate. It will be visible from a considerable distance from the lot in all directions.
“This project presented a tremendous opportunity to connect present and past,” said Tony Tasset. “A rainbow provided a bridge both physically — arching across a section of the lot — and symbolically through its connection to specific films like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ shot on the lot, and to light itself.”
Creator of several major public works of art, Tasset has a history of celebrating global popular culture, while owing a debt to tradition, particularly the Light and Space art movement based in Southern California. For the concept of the “Rainbow,” Tasset was inspired by multiple factors including rainbows as a general symbol for optimism and well-being, as well as, specifically, their use in such iconic pieces of entertainment as “The Wizard of Oz” film, which was shot on the Sony Pictures Studios lot in the late 1930s. Providing stunning photo opportunities for visitors on the lot and visible from its northern edge, the sculpture will establish a new landmark for the studio and the city.
Development of the “Rainbow” installation began in June 2011, with construction to be completed entirely off site and installation at the lot expected in early 2012.
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