“Right after I finished graduate school, I had this idea about making portraits of people in Los Angeles and using the talk show as a format to do that. I started designing the talk show set, and as the background of the set, I wanted a giant L.A. twilight sky. I did some research and found out that there were just a few places in L.A. that painted backdrops, so I met with the scenic-art department here at Warner Bros. The painter I met was Andrew Pike, who had just painted the backdrop for Conan O’Brien. I thought, ‘Oh, wow, this is perfect! This is someone who actually paints backdrops for talk shows.’”
Alex Israel: in conversation with Aram Moshayedi, in: 'Alex Israel', Interview Magazine, 30 December 2014, online.