“When I started working with Judson, we used the technique of water-jet cutting and bringing in airbrushing and building 3-D elements,” said Jean, who worked with Judson on an earlier project, a glass sculpture, “Goya,” which is now at a South Korean museum. The partnership led to the immersive “Pagoda” that allows viewers “to step in and be completely enveloped in color and light and it will shift and change as the light changes,” Jean said. Panels from that work will be shown by late summer.
A recent trip to the cemetery, perched on a hill overlooking the urban jungle, was a scene of juxtapositions: Fishburne is ready to show off the museum, a hodgepodge of a Frederic Remington cowboy, Mark Twain maquette, Easter Island moai and classical reproduction, while horse-drawn funeral carriages and mourners are just outside. That scene was a somber reminder of the place and time that makes Fishburne remark that he “hopes the public comes.”
“Now that we’re opening, it’s exciting, but you don’t know what to expect,” said Fishburne.
Still, having something to look forward to is a major unifier.
“We’re basically graffiti, street artists, so to have us come through to Forest Lawn, it feels really good,” said the artist Flores, who grew up in Tulare, Calif., where “there was no stained glass,” and fell in love with the medium on trips to Spain during long contemplations in medieval churches.
Flores at one point spent two days a week at the studio learning to cut and snap glass into form with Judson’s artisans, whom he credits with immense patience.
“There’s a special type of discipline needed for this kind of work,” he said, a resolve he admits he lacks. “I hope people show up and give it a chance.”