Designer Janis Leonard -- known for her thought-provoking art installations at Scottsdale's AZ88, as well as the posh revamp of Hanny's -- is no stranger to buzz. But recently her work has turned a few more heads than usual, and some folks are seeing it as downright scandalous.
The latest of Leonard's creations for AZ88 is a series of abstract erotic paintings that are splashed across the restaurant's windows -- and visible from both inside and outside the building. Right outside the building, of course, is the Scottsdale Civic Plaza. So at the intersection of private property and public space, there's a parade of bright red figures who appear to be having some lusty fun (although they're far from anatomically correct).
Effie Bouras, associate designer at Leonard's design firm, says she and artist Bruce Fortner helped Leonard create the pieces in an all-night painting session in early February.
Lately, Bouras says, the City of Scottsdale has been "pestering" the restaurant to take down the paintings, but AZ88 plans to keep them up until early March, as scheduled.
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Time will tell whether the city gets its way.
"They're pushing, and we're pushing back," says Bouras.