Introduction to GUP #37 - Los Angeles




Oh wow! The greater Los Angeles area holds close to 18 million people within almost 5,000 square miles - the size of a small country! Is it the ultimate paradise? Or is America's most massive human creation hiding the face of the apocalypse?!

With a life and career spanning nearly a century, Julius Shulman - the renowned architectural chronicler of the City of Angels and its Modernist movement – lived long enough to see and document L.A. from all its angles. Michael Light, sharing his bird's eye view, shows it as a living organism, simultaneously vibrant and volatile depending on the neighbourhood. From East Hollywood, with its significant Armenian community as seen by Ara Oshagan, to Lauren Greenfield's focus on these grounds so fertile for the breeding of dreams and fantasies.

What more can we say about this grid between Interstate 5, 10 and Route 101? This (a)moral Matrix with its happy few and its lonely crowd? Have a look at Andrew Bush's Vector Portraits and you know a little more about its car culture of the continuously driven. It's all there and it's all true… in a way; in Los Angeles' terms and on its own conditions. It is where Oliver Sieber found(ed) part of his Imaginary Club; where Helmut Newton smashed his car into a wall at Chateau Marmot. It is of Terrywood.

Ed Ruscha, Herb Ritts, and Dennis Hopper signed their names as artists on the same fertile ground on which RJ Shaughnessy and his posse of teen hipsters come of age, and that cultivates Frank W. Ockenfels 3's kaleidoscopic view on the larger-than-life icons that embody the American Dream.

Los Angeles. It is unreal but it is not impossible.

Erik Vroons,
Chief Editor