BY LAURIE HEUSTON — An abstract, birds-eye point of view of downtown Ashland graces Ashland Independent Film Festival’s 2020 promotional poster.
The artwork, created by architect and painter David Piches of Roseville, California, showcases a plan, or straight-down, view of a section of the city with an additional twist — images of film strips make up the city’s streets.
“I felt the need to put something in the art that would transfer Ashland’s association with a theater festival to one with a film festival,” Piches says. “Art is different from architecture because architecture is about solving problems for people, while art is just about the artist. My art expresses my own thought process, not that of a client’s. Though I did some fine-tuning for the film festival. These paintings are an outgrowth of my architectural training. As architects, we look at things in plan view first and in elevation second."
“Most of my paintings are art for art’s sake. They’re not commercial art and most of them tend to be in plan views, looking straight down. I think it’s interesting because no one sees buildings from that perspective.”
The main layout of Piches’ scene painted for AIFF’s poster was inspired by a Google satellite map. Piches started with ink on yellow architectural tracing paper and then added acrylic paint. He’s been to Ashland many times in the last year and has become familiar with many downtown sites. He drew on that familiarity, yet kept the image an abstraction of what is there.
“I took a lot of creative license with it,” Piches says. “People who live in Ashland or visit may not recognize the buildings in the artwork. I like to use shadows to define buildings. They give a sense of how tall buildings are and what shapes the roofs may have.”
Piches is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. His architectural practice is based in Roseville. His services include commercial and residential projects as well as restoration.