Other Works in this Series:
Interior: Beginning of a Power PlantSize: 12" x 23"
Medium: Oil on panel
Cornelius Collection, Carmichael, CA
Interior: Beginning of a Power Plant:
Since youth I've been fascinated by the metallic and brick structures of chocolate and sugar factories, power plants and oil refineries. I've observed several industrial venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in particular I’ve been intrigued by the Rodeo Refinery of Conoco Phillips. It is an enormous site, situated in Martinez, CA, Contra Costa County. The Rodeo refinery is located on the opposite side of the bay, across from Crocket’s C&H Sugar Factory, another personal favorite venue.
The Rodeo is heavy in smoke effects, and especially at twilight and at dusk it can be seen as a magnificent performance. As most oil refineries are toxic, this one definitely has the neighbors concerned with the arise of asthma effects. It should be situated much farther from residential homes, but the Rodeo has been around for over a century.
A scarry scenario for the Conoco Phillips, on June 15th 2012, hydrogen sulfide vapors were released in the air when the seam of a 1.5 million gallon tank storing processed water split that morning. Local residents reportedly suffered nausea, throat irritation and respiratory symptoms due to the gas leak.
I visited the Rodeo refinery once, back in 2006, and attempted to photograph the site. I did not see any signs of unwanted trespassers so I went along and photographed some shots until I was confronted by security. I was not able to photograph any longer and all of my photos were confiscated. Security officers were doing their job and they were polite as soon as they knew I was no criminal, just an artist appreciating the factory. Security told me that apparently they had not had an un-invited visitor since the year 2001! Wow! I was relieved that I was not in trouble and I was able to walk away, peacefully. Since then, I’ve continued to be enchanted by this refinery and continue to research others. At a later time, I will devote a series of paintings of the Conoco Phillips.
I’m delighted to share with you in this a painting from 2007, inspired by the Rodeo Refinery, titled, “Interior: Beginning of a Power Plant”. It is an imagined interior shape of a power plant. It is the beginning of a composition of an unidentified space. This painting is presented in a linear and color oriented style, uniting colored stripes in a uniformed set-up. I wish to bring a fresh interior, transforming the scenery into a candy colored life!
This painting was first exhibited in July 2007, at Hang Art Gallery's show titled New Faces, and was also exhibited in 2008, group show titled, Photography and Art Show, at the MoMo Lounge, Sacramento. It was also exhibited at SFAI's 10th Annual Winter Art Fair, December 2010.
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