Last Friday morning we had the unique opportunity to speak at an Art Center photography class about branding and marketing for artists. It was a small class and we got to share the speaking privileges with Vince of Sinclair Denim. A class from FIDM even stopped by to listen in, toos! It was so fun. There were so many fantastic photographers we got to meet and we had a blast hanging out with all of them. We also got to check out and critique a branding exercise they did that involved their transforming small boxes into little portfolios. Everyone did an excellent job and we even got to keep one: photographer Albert Roman gave us his little box as he thought it would be valuable to us since his work deals with Los Angeles. Of course we had to share it!
Albert’s work deals with the ideas of being a Californian and being an Angeleno. There are two big series that we love: one that has people wrapped in a giant California flag and another that sees locals writing little postcard love letters to LA. The flag pieces deal with how the hispanic population will very soon be the majority population in our state. With an enveloping flag, Albert took portraits of various Latino persons wrapped in the state’s symbol as if it were a warm welcome.
The postcard pieces came from Albert walking up to strangers and having them “write anything they wished” on a postcard. He wanted to find what people thought about LA and if they too had a similar feeling of magic in relationship to where they live. “My intention was to explore the broken promise that, at the time, I thought Los Angeles dealt out daily in healthy doses to anyone with the naïveté to follow their dreams,” he explains. “Surprisingly that is not what I found. Instead I found a city full of people living in the shadow of the world’s expectations for it, full of people who make this city their home regardless of what the outside projects onto it.” The resulting series is an intimate yet anonymous portrait of locals. We’d love to see more!
For Albert’s box, he placed the series together into a fold out accordion that visually gushed how much it loved LA. Both series are included in addition to some other portraits and views of palm trees. We told him he should totally send out this work–and in this exact form–to places like KPCC, whose goal is to communicate and share the stories of Southern Californians. He’d be a perfect fit with their photography crew! We’re sure Albert’s work will be seen around town (and beyond) as soon as school’s end comes. Check out more of his work here and look at his portfolio box below.