Once upon a time—before photographers and videographers—painters were hired to record events as they happened. That tradition is alive and well thanks to Laura Swytak, a 26-year-old MICA graduate. A native of L.A., Swytak is now the in-demand live event artist in the city (and across the U.S), painting everything from weddings to golf tournaments. She describes her style as a little bit Spanish (Diego Velázquez), a tad German (Adolf von Menzel) and a soupçon French (Edouard Manet). "I think there's something that you can get in a painting that you really can't get in a photograph or video," she says. "My paintings capture a duration of time. It's like a collage of all these different moments." She'll paint in almost any conditions—unless there are strobe lights. "I can't work with strobe lights," she laughs. "It's just impossible."
Issue date: January, 2008