Word to the wise is plenty

Drivers who catch a glimpse of the yellow billboard rising above a modest commercial stretch of La Cienega between Venice and Washington boulevards in L.A. may do a double-take at its cryptic one-word message: "Bountiful."

No, it isn't obscure product placement. It's the work of Los Angeles-based mixed-media artist Scoli Acosta. Part of a public art program, it complements Acosta's dual installations at the nearby LAXART storefront gallery.

On display at LAXART through March 1, Acosta's work occupies two gallery spaces with works that recycle common and found objects into iconographic montages of sculpture, video and painting. One installation, also titled "Bountiful," includes fragments of sea-smoothed red bricks the artist found washed up on local beaches.

"I have a studio in East L.A., in Boyle Heights," Acosta says, "and there's a painted cornucopia on practically every corner. That kind of led me to this word 'bountiful,' and when I found it on a T-shirt in a second-hand store, it all just seemed to fall in line."

It's an odd word to see, one that lends itself to being misread, he says. "When I first started looking at it, I constantly read 'beautiful,' and this first glance would always lead me to the second glance. I liked the fact that there was something about it that made me want to look at it again."

-- Lynne Heffley

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