Seeking the Soul of L.A. on Its Streets: Paintings and Stories by J. Michael Walker
"a Sam Spade of saints... unearthing contemporary symbolism." - Patricia Leigh Brown, the New York Times
 Artist-Author J. Michael Walker
j michael walker, author of all the saints of the city of the angels J. Michael Walker came to Los Angeles by way of Mexico - a critical stopover that “explained” L.A. to him: its historical, thriving roots churning beneath the asphalt.

Years of creating thoughtful narrative artworks grounded in the culture of rural Mexico - centered mainly on her patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, and other saints - prepared J. Michael for an examination of the “patron saints” of the streets of Los Angeles.

Availing himself of local archives; amassing a library of rare nineteenth and early twentieth century books, photographs and ephemera about Southern California and the hagiography of saints; and walking each of the 103 saint-streets in the City of Los Angeles while seeking the "spirit" of the saint on its namesake street, J. Michael dedicated eight years to what he calls his “loopy valentine to this amazing city of lost angels and sometime saints, the City of the Angels.”

An exhibiting artist since 1984, J. Michael Walker has participated in more than 100 exhibitions; received a dozen grants, fellowships and residencies; and enjoyed solo shows at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard; el Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, Mexico City; the National Museum of Catholic Art and History, East Harlem, New York City; and the Arkansas Arts Center; among others.

J. Michael, his saintly wife Mimí, and their amazing son Jacobo reside in a small but rambling house near Downtown L.A., surrounded by fruit trees, giant koi, the occasional coyote and raccoon, and a never-ending chorus of Southern California songbirds.
Photo Credits:  Above left: Photo by Annie Wells, 2007  / Above Right: Photo by Adrienne Barnette, 2008

All the Saints of the City of the Angels. This website  copyright 2009 by J Michael Walker. All rights reserved.