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An exhibition of Ted VanCleave's new fine art photography series, 'Behind the Hollywood Sign,' in Los Angeles

I'm introducing my new fine art photography project, "Behind the Hollywood Sign," via Kickstarter for two reasons.

1. I'm raising funds to exhibit this series in Los Angeles. Professional exhibitions are expensive and artists/photographers are burdened with the high cost of professionally printing, professional framing (suitable for gallery exhibition) and shipping art to galleries, plus travel expenses to oversee printing, framing and attending the artists’ reception. I exhibit large prints, which are costly. As an example, it costs $2,000+ just to print and frame one 60"x80" piece for exhibition, and that doesn't include shipping to and from the show. Funds raised beyond my goal allow for more exhibitions.

 2. It's a new way to reach enthusiasts of art, photography and the Hollywood Sign and allow them to enjoy a limited-time, pre-release pricing direct from the artist.

In the recent past, I've turned down exhibition opportunities because I couldn't always afford to pay the high cost to print/frame/ship large multiple prints of my work to exhibit in galleries. And sometimes I've held off approaching galleries about future exhibitions because of these considerable expenses. So I'm offering pre-release wholesale prices for my limited edition prints as pledge rewards. Now you can afford to start/build your art collection and these funds will allow me to exhibit in more galleries. It's a win/win. The direct prices offered for prints via pledges are for one-time only and only available through Kickstarter. Please help spread the word.  

The glow of the sunset streaming through the Sign
The glow of the sunset streaming through the Sign

I've had the fortunate opportunity to shoot two photo series of The Hollywood Sign up close and personal. Standing next to the Hollywood Sign is a real treat because it's off limits to the public to prevent vandalism and potential injuries from the steep terrain. My first Hollywood Sign series resulted in an exhibition in Los Angeles (see photo below). Prints from this series are currently available on my website.

My first Hollywood Sign series exhibited in Los Angeles in 2010
My first Hollywood Sign series exhibited in Los Angeles in 2010

In 2010, my Hollywood Sign series was selected as the inaugural exhibit for The Gallery at The Art Institute of California Hollywood by President Gregory J. Marick.

“Upon first seeing his photography of the Hollywood Sign, I was awed by VanCleave’s artistry, compelling me to contemplate the icon which I’ve seen a thousand times before but which never before looked so fresh. The details, perspective and colors come together in ways which cast a new light on this familiar landmark – a fantastic creative achievement worthy of celebration in The Gallery at The Art Institute of California Hollywood."

Greg Marick, President, Art Institute of California, Hollywood, CA

Each letter stands 55 feet tall, as tall as a five story building
Each letter stands 55 feet tall, as tall as a five story building

My new series is entitled "Behind The Hollywood Sign" and provides a unique perspective of the Sign that is unknown to most people. It's a bit edgy, allowing you to see the structure of the Sign with its braces and corrugated facade. If you look closely, you can see security cameras and maintenance ladders mounted to it. From behind the Sign you can see greater Los Angeles and Lake Hollywood, and you can even see helicopters flying by.

The Sign is more than the sum of its parts. It's more than giant letters overlooking LA. It has a life, a life of its own. And this series allows you to see Los Angeles from the perspective of the Hollywood Sign from the top of Mount Lee, 1,800 feet high, staring down on the sprawling flatlands of Los Angeles, from downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean.

Behind the Hollywood Sign
Behind the Hollywood Sign

I lived in Beachwood Canyon below the Hollywood Sign for seven years, and I enjoyed seeing it every day. There is a hidden park in the Hollywood hills below the Sign where I used to take my dog and meet friends and watch the sun set over the Sign. It was magical.

My new series, Behind The Hollywood Sign, features 18 new images of the Sign as it has never been seen before, behind the facade, the unseen side, yet still filled with history and mystery.

The Hollywood Sign is more than a sign. It's more than a symbol. It's a powerful international icon that's larger than life both literally and figuratively. It's about imagination. It's about dreams. It personifies the movie and TV industries and celebrities and movie stars, and it has a power that draws us to it like a magnet.

To view the entire Behind The Hollywood Sign series and choose your limited edition print, visit www.tedvancleave.com. Prints are available for this series exclusively through Kickstarter while the Kickstarter campaign is active.

WOOD front to back
WOOD front to back

The Hollywood Sign was originally built in 1923 as a giant billboard advertising a new upscale real estate development called Hollywoodland. By 1949 the Sign had outlived its commercial purpose. It had, however, come to personify the city of Hollywood, so the Chamber of Commerce removed the letters that spelled "land," leaving just "Hollywood" as we know it today.

After decades of neglect, in the late 1970s the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce determined the Sign required a complete rebuilding at the cost of a quarter million dollars. In 1978, Hugh Hefner hosted a gala fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion, where individual Sign letters where ceremonially auctioned off at $27,000 per letter. The effort to preserve the Sign brought together an odd mix of celebrity sponsors: Rocker Alice Cooper sponsored an "O" in honor of Groucho Marx, while singing cowboy Gene Autry sponsored an "L" and Andy Williams sponsored the "W." Thanks to the help of these and other donors, the Sign was completely scrapped and a new one built in 1978, re-born, poised and polished for everyone to enjoy.

A helicopter flies by the Sign
A helicopter flies by the Sign

Ted VanCleave's art has received numerous honors and distinctions. His work was selected by Laura Rosenstock, curator of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, to appear in the Faber Birren Color Award Show, and he was awarded Top National Honors from the prestigious National Watercolor Society. Featured interviews of VanCleave have received a worldwide audience on CNN among other networks. His highly stylized photographs, innovative sculptures and vibrant abstract paintings offer an exciting new approach to these popular media.

Overlooking Lake Hollywood
Overlooking Lake Hollywood
A spectacular view from the Sign overlooking the Hollywood Hills to the Pacific Ocean.
A spectacular view from the Sign overlooking the Hollywood Hills to the Pacific Ocean.

I very much appreciate your support. One of the biggest ways to help me reach my goal so I may create and exhibit new art is to spread the word. Please let others know about this project. Big thanks and a warm smile are headed in your direction.

To view the entire Behind The Hollywood Sign series and choose your limited edition print, visit www.tedvancleave.com. Prints are available for this series only through Kickstarter while the Kickstarter campaign is active. 

FAQ

  • Everyone has until approximately Oct 1, 2012 to decide which print they would like. Once the project is funded on Sept 29th, I will send out a survey to everyone and ask them to choose which print they would like and what's their alternate choice. Since print selection is on a first come, first served basis, and prints are limited editions, it's best to pledge now to lock in your pledge date, then when I send you your survey the first of October, you can tell me which are your first and second choices for your print. So now it's just a matter of deciding what size is best for you.

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    Receive exclusive pre-public email updates when new series are released and exhibitions occur. I very much appreciate your support. One of the biggest ways to help me reach my goal so I may create and exhibit new art is to spread the word. Please let others know about this project. Big thanks and a warm smile are headed in your direction.

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    Receive a Behind The Hollywood Sign 5"x7" postcard, artist signed and suitable for framing plus exclusive email updates when new series are released.* *All pledges of any amount will receive exclusive pre-public email updates when new series are released and exhibitions occur.

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    Receive an 8"x10" limited edition print, artist signed and numbered. Artist will choose an image from this series for this size print. Free shipping is included within the USA or add $10 for international shipping. This size print will only be made available through Kickstarter. No 8"x10" prints of this series will be sold either in galleries or online after the Kickstart campaign ends. Print is unframed.

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    Receive an 11"x14" limited edition print, artist signed and numbered. The retail price for this print is $100. Free shipping is included within the USA or add $10 for international shipping. Each series image is limited to 200 prints at this size. You may choose any image in this series for your print.* Print is unframed. Direct from artist prices via pledges are one time only and only available through Kickstarter. *Image selection for your print is based on a first-come, first-served basis, so ordering early has its advantages. If the image you choose is sold out, then you will be given a choice of remaining available images to choose from.

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    Receive a 16"x20" limited edition print, artist signed and numbered. The retail price for this print is $350. Free shipping is included within the USA or add $10 for international shipping. Each series image is limited to 100 prints at this size. You may choose any image in this series for your print.* Print is unframed. Direct from artist prices via pledges are one time only and only available through Kickstarter. *Image selection for your print is based on a first-come, first-served basis, so ordering early has its advantages. If the image you choose is sold out, then you will be given a choice of remaining available images to choose from.

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    1 backer Limited (99 left of 100)

    Receive a 24"x30" limited edition print, artist signed and numbered. The retail price for this print is $800. Free shipping is included within the USA or add $15 for international shipping. Each series image is limited to 40 prints at this size. You may choose any image in this series for your print.* Print is unframed. Direct from artist prices via pledges are one time only and only available through Kickstarter. *Image selection for your print is based on a first-come, first-served basis, so ordering early has its advantages. If the image you choose is sold out, then you will be given a choice of remaining available images to choose from.

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    Receive a 30"x40" limited edition print, artist signed and numbered. The retail price for this print is $1,600. Free shipping is included within the USA or add $30 for international shipping. Each series image is limited to 20 prints at this size. You may choose any image in this series for your print.* Print is unframed. Direct from artist prices via pledges are one time only and only available through Kickstarter. *Image selection for your print is based on a first-come, first-served basis, so ordering early has its advantages. If the image you choose is sold out, then you will be given a choice of remaining available images to choose from.

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    Receive a 45"x60" limited edition print, artist signed and numbered. The retail price for this print is $3,400. Free shipping is included within the USA or add $50 for international shipping. Each series image is limited to 10 prints at this size. You may choose any image in this series for your print.* Print is unframed. Direct from artist prices via pledges are one time only and only available through Kickstarter. *Image selection for your print is based on a first-come, first-served basis, so ordering early has its advantages. If the image you choose is sold out, then you will be given a choice of remaining available images to choose from.

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    Receive a 60"x80" limited edition print, artist signed and numbered. The retail price for this print is $9,000. Free shipping is included within the USA or add $80 for international shipping. Each series image is limited to only 2 prints at this size. You may choose any image in this series for your print.* Print is unframed. Direct from artist prices via pledges are one time only and only available through Kickstarter. *Image selection for your print is based on a first-come, first-served basis, so ordering early has its advantages. If the image you choose is sold out, then you will be given a choice of remaining available images to choose from.

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    Are you looking for a great branding opportunity for your company or product? Receive exclusive corporate sponsorship for the Los Angeles exhibition. Sponsor will have rights to associate their brand with the Los Angeles exhibition (logo and sponsorship branding on exhibition materials, press releases, artist's website) and dinner with the artist in Los Angeles. Price does not include exhibition promotional costs. Sponsorship level is subject to artist approval.

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    Receive a 60"x80" limited edition print, artist signed and numbered PLUS dinner with the artist anywhere in the world for you and five of your guests. I'll travel to your location, whether it's your home or exotic vacation spot at no additional charge and I'll pick up the dinner tab for an amazing dinner for up to six people plus myself. The retail price for the print is $9,000. Free shipping is included within the USA or add $80 for international shipping. Each series image is limited to only 2 prints at this size. You may choose any image in this series for your print.* Print is unframed. Direct from artist prices via pledges are one time only and only available through Kickstarter. *Image selection for your print is based on a first-come, first-served basis, so ordering early has its advantages. If the image you choose is sold out, then you will be given a choice of remaining available images to choose from.

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    Are you looking for a great branding opportunity for your company or product? Receive exclusive corporate sponsorship for global multiple exhibitions (other than Los Angeles). Participate in two exhibitions of this art series in 2013. Locations to be determined. Possible locations include Tokyo, London and Berlin. Or if the sponsor is solely U.S.-based, I'll work with you to secure U.S. gallery exhibitions. Sponsor will have rights to associate their brand with multi-location exhibitions, (logo and sponsorship branding on exhibition materials, press releases, artist's website) and dinner with the artist at one of the exhibition locations. Price does not include exhibition promotional costs. Sponsorship level is subject to artist approval.

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