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  • CRA/LA’S commitment to public art began over 40 years ago.
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  • California Plaza developers met their art requirement by building a $23 million facility for the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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 \\Commonspot\internet-site\images\bullet1 Art Projects
Joe Fay
Natural Instincts

Project Area: CBD/Financial Core
Project: Citicorp Plaza Phase I
Project Location: Ernst & Young Plaza, 725 S. Figueroa Street
Project Type: Developer


One of seven sculptural collaborations between artists and poets that make up the "Poets' Walk" series throughout Citicorp Plaza is a  collaboration between poet Gary Soto and artist Joe Fay. "Natural Instincts" includes three bronze panels cut in the shape of animal silhouettes, including a bird, cat, and dog, installed on the exterior of the building. While the bird is in flight, the cat is leaping, and the dog is walking with its head and tail down.  Poetry by Gary Soto appears in the middle of each panel.

The business of stray dogs is to trot through the rain,
Bark and roll on grass.  They follow smoke and leaves.
They sleep on flowers, which each morning spring back.

Like you, glad worker, the cat hungers before noon.
Its blood is alive, when it leaps,
Not even its shadow can keep up.

What scares us most is windy traffic,
A rush step.  The same with birds.
Men in suits toss bread when we should feed on love.

Natural Instincts overview
Natural Instincts detail

Artist Profile

Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Joe Fay received his BA from San Diego State University and has taught at several institutions including the Otis College of Art and Design, Parsons School of Design, the University of Southern California, and Occidental College.  Fay’s colorful works include images and styles distinctive to Los Angeles and are clearly influenced by the rich diverse culture found within the city.  Fay’s sculptures incorporate natural imagery such as animals and people often in silhouettes cut from brushed aluminum.  Fay was awarded the Young Talent Award from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and his work was later purchased for the museum's permanent collection. In addition to his installation, Natural Instincts, at Citicorp Plaza, another of the artist’s public artworks can be seen in the interior of the Ronald Reagan State Office Building on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. The artist’s works have been exhibited in several solo and group shows in southern California.