Artist Lynnda Rakos premiered her first-ever solo art exhibit at The Main earlier this month, providing attendees an opportunity to dive into her fun, bright-colored imagination and witness her artwork inspired by everything she enjoys.
Titled “15 Minutes of Fame,” Rakos’ exhibit included mixed media artwork that consisted of vibrant colors and recognizable faces in pop culture. Among the subjects were musical artists Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse.
Although her work featured celebrity personas, they were in unique settings created by Rakos’ imagination and her interpterion of how she views the famous pop stars.
The venue’s walls were filled with 40- by 30-inch canvases with different kinds of colors. One of them closer to the main entrance had brightly colored yellow animated flowers and red mushrooms. Sitting on top of the mushrooms was Taylor Swift in an astronaut suit, smiling.
“It’s called 15 minutes of fame … I look for people who had their 15 minutes of fame or still having their 15 minutes of fame and then I just think, ‘What can I do with them?’ Like out of the ordinary, and I love the ’70s,” said Rakos. “I like that aesthetic.”
Her inspiration from the ’60s and ’70s shows a clear influence in her artwork. She has also incorporated numerous elements that portray the free-spirited era into her original work.
“Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees was blaring out of a speaker during the reception while she discussed her artistic career.
Rakos, a Canadian-born artist who now resides in Valley Village, fell in love with art at the age of 3, she said. She chose to pursue her passion in college and studied graphic design, a medium that she uses frequently in her artwork.
Initially Rakos began by painting portraits after her husband asked her to create an original piece of young activists. At the time Rakos no longer created that kind of work but dabbled back into it per her husband’s request.
“I just started loving it again,” said Rakos.
At the grand opening Rakos’ friends and other community members trickled in to appreciate her work and enjoy the neon pinks and yellows and the large amounts of glitter she incorporated into every piece.
“Some of these people are my friends. I change their hair, I change everything about them and then I put them in weird settings sometimes … and I have fun with color and texture,” Rakos said as she pointed at her piece titled “Nairobi Beauty.” The woman in the painting was wearing a vibrant blue dress made from artificial flowers and an afro with glitter and rhinestones.
Parts of Rakos’ artwork have been created through digital media. As a former graphic designer, Rakos has made use of her knowledge and creates her image on the computer then prints it onto a canvas where she brings it to life with color and other elements.
Rakos applied to submit her original work for the possibility of being a featured artist in the city of Santa Clarita Art and Events division. Rakos created a piece following her recurring theme with Elton John as her subject for another exhibit and she was asked to do a solo show.
“They [the city] take care of their artists,” said Rakos.
Carla Lubow a longtime friend and choreographer, was present during the grand opening of the art exhibit to support the milestone.
“We’ve always connected … as artists. Creativity and how you’re going to direct it towards your medium, and Linda has a style that is so distinctive,” said Lubow. “The fun in it, the exuberance and excitement, I love the textures because as a choreographer I often relate.”
“I really admire her, after a while she’d say, ‘I don’t really like how …’ and she’d just go back, change the background or add [more]. It’s really interesting to see that it’s continually evolving,” said Lubow.
“15 Minutes of Fame” is being featured at the Main in Old Town Newhall until Feb. 5.
For more information or if interested in viewing the artwork, visit santaclaritaarts.com/galleries.