The initial thing I noticed about the art piece near the corner of Fountain and Western avenues south of Hollywood was the color.

It was a collage of painted planks representing each individual shade of Southern California weather, cloudy white and misty blue future to wet-working day slate grey and the deep cerulean of midsummer. It reminded me of the abstract colour blocking of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

The 2nd point I discovered about the mosaic was that it served as a fence for a little vehicle physique store termed EndZon Automotive.

I decided I desired to fulfill the auto overall body mechanic who saw the sky with these an inventive eye. So I knocked on the door.

Michael Yeghish, 43, of Glendale had hardly ever heard of Mondrian, and apart from having a pottery course in Armenia, he did not have any formal education as an artist.

Michael Yeghish stands by a pencil and charcoal sketch

Yeghish stands by a pencil and charcoal sketch inside of his overall body shop.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Occasions)

He named his physique store EndZon since a lot of other corporations had been currently named “end zone.” And he developed the piece simply because he wished to erect a fence immediately after finding some needles and trash in his driveway. He uncovered a contractor who cited a price he felt was exorbitant, so Yeghish decided to do it himself.

The project started as a fence, but he soon grew preoccupied with locating the appropriate colors. He kept likely again to Home Depot for much more wood and paint. He preferred the small business to appear awesome and thought of it as his territory. He planned to increase lights and additional signage to manufacturer his business enterprise, but Yeghish is a chaotic person with a great deal of tasks, and shortly he experienced to transfer on to the future just one.

Most of his art is like that — a relaxation end on the way to heavier concerns such as having to pay rent, carrying an highly-priced mortgage, or trying to assemble a back device to support manage explained home finance loan payments.

“I’m not — I really do not know any artist. But I just imagined, to make a great picture, you have to have in your eyesight nice colours. As prolonged as the hues arrive together,” Yeghish said.

It was a reminder that folks like Yeghish, who emigrated from Armenia in 1997 when he was in his 20s, frequently do not have the time or prospect to pursue art as a profession. He can hardly picture art as a career.

“There is no art job,” Yeghish claimed. “Where am I going to do artwork? Flames on the vehicle?”

Auto physique get the job done, on the other hand — that is constantly there for Yeghish. He discovered the trade from his loved ones.

“Cars in the road, you have a job. My grandpa informed me that,” he reported.

When we met last week, Yeghish was juggling buyers, employees and a frequently ringing cellphone as his supper — a forgotten box of Taco Bell — cooled on a counter guiding him.

He was tall and skinny, sporting a goatee, beret and leather-based jacket, a pair of mirrored aviators hooked in his collar. He spoke in quick bursts and incomplete sentences, and punctuated his points with very long-fingered fingers that seem to be manufactured for paintbrushes fairly than paint guns.

I requested him why he normally takes the time to make art when he appears to be to have so substantially on his plate.

“Well, mainly, if you can do some thing, why not?” Yeghish mentioned.

As we spoke it became crystal clear that artwork is just something he enjoys, not anything he thinks about. He explained a vision of a painting he desired to do with paint splatters, but he had under no circumstances heard of Jackson Pollock. His most loved art piece is a painting of a cat that hangs in his household — it came with the home, and he does not know the artist. But the hues are incredible, he explained.

Inside the auto overall body shop on the doorways to the business and bathroom, his close friend had painted elaborate fantasy landscapes. Along just one wall, a significant Tupperware upper body of drawers saved a mixture of car equipment and artwork supplies. On his desk, a cup held a cluster of dried up ballpoint pens and a slender, flat sketching pencil.

Yeghish can make artwork for himself, and that is plenty of for him.

“The very best part of understanding a thing that you know you know, that no 1 can acquire that from you, you know you can do what you can do,” he said.

Yeghish makes art for himself, and that is enough for him.

Yeghish helps make art for himself, and that is enough for him.

(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

He’s obtained a good deal else to fear about. He’s stressed out about a looming dialogue with his landlord about lease, as very well as the house loan payments on the house he couldn’t pretty pay for, which he purchased to display his spouse and children he could stand on his personal two ft. He opened his new car overall body organization just two days before quarantine limitations hit Los Angeles in 2020, and small business has been gradual.

The principal cause he’s striving to get his existence alongside one another is so he can invest more time with his 11-yr-previous daughter. He glowed as he explained how pleased she is when he requires her to the arcade. He understands his vitality has an effect on her, so he attempts to keep good.

“I’m making an attempt to be much better than I am. I’m making an attempt to do anything by myself,” Yeghish explained. “I never know where by or how I’m heading to do it. But which is the correct final decision to make. I don’t want her to see that her dad is offering up.”

Amid all these concerns my thoughts about his artwork seemed insignificant. However, assembly Yeghish gave me a greater appreciation for art — the art that could be created by folks who are if not too chaotic hustling to fork out hire, increase small children and repair vehicles. I’m glad to know that there are folks like Yeghish, generating beautiful points that are not the end place of a capitalistic process of profit maximization.

Yeghish has significant programs for his upcoming artwork piece, which hangs unfinished in his office environment. It’s a photorealistic pencil rendering of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, with a forced perspective that shows the statue seeking down at the town under. The bottom fifty percent of the drawing is blank.

In that house Yeghish wants to attract “the whole world, the full city.” Anytime he has time for it.


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