A Strip Mall
The Urban Wilderness Series.
Watercolor, ink and spray paint on paper.
14.25″ x 20″
Harold Plople was a prolific artist who suffered from schizophrenia. He lived on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles for many years before becoming a resident at Harbor View House in San Pedro, California, a residential home for adults suffering from mental illnesses. Plople’s work is extremely strong. The explosive quality of his paintwork is oddly offset by titles written in a fine cursive hand across his paintings. His titles describe the marginal stereotypes of his subjects such as Pimp, Couch Potato and Topless Dancer. His technique blends thin washes of paint with bold strokes of violent color and movement and carry such written description as, Deadbeat Losers and Asking for Spare Change in the Urban Wilderness. “I kill myself with every painting I do,” Plople says, “I lose a little bit of myself. The painting fills the void.” In addition to having a mental illness, Harold was a recovering alcoholic. After spending seven years at Harbor View House, Harold stopped drinking and gave himself over to his art. Plople passed away in 2012 after suffering from cancer.