WOMEN OF SKID ROW AND OTHER URBAN LANDSCAPES : Carl Ramsey
Artist Carl Ramsey and videographer Michael Blaze, both downtown residents, met and became friends at one of Carl’s shows at Bert Green Gallery in the mid 2000s. Michael was impressed that Carl’s paintings showed the beauty of downtown and in the late 2000s Michael arranged for several female residents of Skid Row to sit for the two of them to photograph. Carl then used his photographs as reference material for a series of oil paintings of these very interesting women.
Ramsey’s most recent work consists mainly of the interpretation of the human and architectural elements in and around the Historic Core District of downtown Los Angeles, where the painter lived for several years.
On September 1, 2014 Carl Ramsey lost his battle with cancer. He was 68 years old. His humor, compassion and talent is dearly missed in the downtown Los Angeles arts community.
I simply try to do interesting paintings. Not many have picked up a brush with an intention to do otherwise, yet a positive outcome is never assured. Failures become the ground for the next assault. Many years ago an instructor of mine stated, for the first time to my ear, that sentimentality is the enemy of art. I have always considered this statement in relation to the obfuscation of truth. I find it a useful thought to hold as I search around the city for subjects, or prepare to merely recycle a used canvas.