It is 2015 and, as I do every year, I attempt to map out our future for the upcoming months. With the recent past being fairly quiet (i.e., scant posting), this leaves Los Angeles, I’m Yours in a very peculiar position: what is our future? Where are we going? How does the current run affect the future?
In examining photographer Stefano Galli’s images, you’ll notice an attention to detail. He isn’t creating elaborate sets or perfecting the styling of a client but is instead documenting a scene that is happening or a place that exists in this city: the image zooms in on something that has caught his eye. There is a feeling of juxtaposition to his work, a tension between the place and the person or object and atmosphere.
It’s a reflection of Los Angeles, too. A city of extremes and opposites, often fascinating in their juxtaposition, Galli has been able to (literally) zoom in on these subjects to show how funny and interesting our city can be. To get an idea of where he is coming from and what is the motivation behind the work, we had a little chat with the artist.
If you’ve ever attended a trade show, you know that there is more to the exhibition floor than the goods on display. Brands will create elaborate, temporary worlds to envelop visitors, to wow them with the pop-up display. Most of these mini-experiences are behind closed doors, by and for those of a specific industry. The creativity shown in these worlds are often missed by outsiders, a sad reality of these industries. Los Angeles can sometimes feel like this, too. It’s big and unmapped, full of captivating exteriors and carefully crafted façades intended to show off aesthetic inventiveness. Unless you have a tour guide or have lived here for long enough, the city can feel as though it is all behind closed doors.
This is a fact that James Schnauer is trying to overcome. He and his Marina Del Rey company Glow have made a name for themselves creating extravagant temporary worlds for businesses, typically in the entertainment industry. Now, he’s hoping to break out of the exhibition space and into the public. “For us it’s all about people and the interaction within a space,” he explains, seated in Glow’s colorful, relaxed conference room. “Whether that comes with a bunch of restrictions or is indoor or outdoor—or whether it’s totally open—that keeps things fresh and interesting. I’ve always worked in smaller studios where you have a bunch different jobs: that keeps you nimble, able to change your course quickly.”
In her new book of poems—Math, Heaven, Time—Mandy Kahn attempts to provide solutions to all of our problems. A poem called “How to Solve” answers many day-to-day, Angeleno quandaries. “Put tulips in the middle of the problem,” it starts. “Don’t clean if you can’t. Don’t eat / if you cannot bear the smell. Put tulips / on the table, beside the mail / and papers and coupons and trash.”
The poem continues on for a stanza, spreading itself across a little page. A poem called “Very Long Haiku” watches from across the gutter. There is also a poem called “Why There Are Dishes Growing Scales In My Wet Kitchen Sink” and one called “To the Couples Who Argue on Reality TV.” Likely the shortest poem is “No Bones,” a serious little analogy representative of her ability to fade into surroundings. It alludes to a self-aware shyness, a theme echoed in many of her poems, reiterating a keen observational outlook she has. Mandy’s poems are very much Mandy: understated, full of incredible wit, and lovely to encounter.
Locals know that Los Angeles is so much more than the Hollywood sign or the Downtown skyline. There are many other views of LA, most of which only we know about and only we cherish. This idea is the subject of a new little series of works that have been compiled into a book: it’s called 100 Not So Famous Views Of L.A. by Barbara Thomason and it is a run through some of our most beloved places.