The surreal can pop up at any time. In this case it pops up as you're driving east on Wilshire Boulevard toward downtown Los Angeles. It's the finger that, as you sit at the light at Vermont, resolves into a detail of an abstracted rice bowl, as this is Koreatown.
It's the untitled 2007 mural by April Greiman on the northeast corner of Vermont and Wilshire, above the Metro Rail station, painted on two sides of a new and blocky neo-Bauhaus mixed-use complex by the architectural firm Arquitectonica. The complex is a dead, dark gray – the mural is 8,200 square feet of color. Greiman heads the Los Angeles-based design consultancy Made in Space, and she was one of those, in the mid-eighties, responsible for introducing the New Wave design aesthetic to the United States – the International style meets computer graphics. In 1986 she used Macintosh computers to create a noted issue of Design Quarterly, edited by Mildred Friedman and published by the Walker Art Center, entitled "Does it make sense?" Does it matter? Greiman is a recipient of the American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal for lifetime achievement – so there.