Meg Cranston

Bio: 51, born in Baldwin, N.Y.; lives in Mar Vista Work in show: A large-scale mural of her collage "California" and a mural featuring Bic lighters painted in colors from Pantone's spring/summer 2012 forecast, like "margarita" and "tangerine tango." Cranston: "I always like going into a mini-mart and seeing a box of lighters, because it looks like a box of crayons to me. And Bic really controls their colors: People collect Bic lighters, and according to the blogs nobody knows for sure how many colors they've really produced. There's all this folklore about it -- how rare the brown lighter is. I also like the tradition of lighting a lighter at the end of the concert -- a beautiful folk ritual, though now people do it with an iPhone instead." Curator Anne Ellegood: "She's not only a formalist, interested in particular questions about the materials of artworks and obsessed with color theory, but she is extraordinarily responsive to current events and cultural history. Your first reaction is to scratch your head. What is this all about? Of course lighters represent fire: one of the most elemental forms you can imagine. But it might also be something people held up at a rock concert 20 years ago -- or something a smoker or crack addict uses. It's a simple idea that's very layered."
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
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