Get Social:

Ave Pildas’ Nostalgic Photographs Capture The Lively Characters Of Hollywood Boulevard During The 1970s

Teenagers Bus Bench -©1974

Bus Bench – Teenagers ©1974

Halloween - Trannies ©1974

Halloween – Trannies ©1974

People on Stars - Sundance Massage ©1973

People on Stars – Sundance Massage ©1973

Halloween - KKK ©1974

Halloween – KKK ©1974

Bus Bench - Jesus ©1974

Bus Bench – Jesus ©1974

In a series of black-and-white photographs taken between the years of 1973 and 1975, Ave Pildas provides a fascinating glimpse into how, over the span of four decades, the streets and people of Hollywood Boulevard have both changed and remained curiously the same. Pildas moved from Ohio to Los Angeles in 1971, when Capitol Records hired him to design album covers and take pictures of talent. After 6 months, Pildas left to begin his own design company called Plug In and embark on his Hollywood Boulevard project.

“This place is incredible,” Pildas said when we spoke over the phone. “People escaping the winter [and] US tourists lean towards the west — and all the nuts roll towards the west as well, stopping short of the ocean in Hollywood.” Intrigued by these people who came seeking adventure (and perhaps fame in movies and music), Pildas began to collect their portraits. “My style is to interact with people,” he said, explaining his approach. He would wait until an unknown person would walk into the light, engage with them, and then request to take their picture. Some people would pose and smile, and others would hold up their hands in rejection. “For the most part, I was treated well,” Pildas said in good humor.

Among the images you will see a whole cast of characters posing excitedly (or reluctantly) for the camera. There are apathetic teenagers at the bus stop, suave fashionistas, a chef, and, rather controversially, two people dressed up as KKK members for Halloween. In comparison to present-day street photography, which favors strong contrasts, Pildas would minimize shadows by shooting on overcast days. The result is a collection of images that are nostalgic as well as beautifully muted and almost surreal in appearance.

While some of the images look a bit dated (such as the cavalier and inappropriate attitudes of the KKK Halloween-goers), they also show how some things haven’t changed. “The costumes have changed,” Pildas observed, referring to how the fashion has inevitably shifted over the decades — but many things persist. He talked about what could still be seen: the Broadway Building, as well as the variety of restaurants, head shops, trashy lingerie stores, Scientologists, and street people hanging out. What has remained fundamentally the same is the adventurous and eclectic spirit that characterizes Hollywood Boulevard.

In an exhibition titled Hollywood Boulevard: The 70s — which opened at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) on July 1st and runs until September 13th — Pildas has compiled an exciting collection of 51 photographs from the series. The images are made from scans of the original negatives, some of which hadn’t been seen in forty years and required repair. By opening the images to the public, Pildas offers a delightful journey into the lively history of Hollywood Boulevard and its people. Check out his website and Facebook page to learn more.

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Will Cotton’s Decadent Sensuality In A Cotton-Candy Paradise

will cottonwill cotton

Will Cotton - Painting
fashion156-willcotton

Will Cotton has created a very successful career from painting fluffy cotton-candy cloudscapes and supple naked women. His body of work can be divisive, as it can easily be seen as gimmicky. Beautiful/Decay covered his portraits of Katy Perry a few years ago, and did not hold back any punches. In his more recent work in the past two years, though, I think there are some exciting, if subtle, developments taking place. Sentiments that have always been on the periphery of his work, but ones that I hope will begin to come through more strongly.

First, I will say that I do enjoy Cotton’s aesthetic to begin with. I mean, sorry, but I literally want to lick every part of every painting, and I’m not even into women. They’re delectable, and I know that’s his aim. He certainly isn’t challenging anything with his work; he adds a spoonful of sugar, and then another, and then shovels in more after that to seduce you with succulent sweetness. Maybe I’m even a little disgusted with myself for becoming rapt in his opulent fantasies. That said, I think his work is very apropos of our contemporary circumstance, and damn, does he capture our plushy, overabundant lifestyle with imagination and skill.

Honestly, I think the joke is on us for eating it all up. If anything, Cotton’s practice provides a mirror to reflect the image of the art world, at least some of us totally ready to douse ourselves in oozy sweetness so easy to swallow. I enjoy the beastly undertones, though. In the past two years, Cotton has painted two fish-looking creatures ridden by nude women, and I’m curious to see how this narrative develops. I find these works the most compelling, as the women seem to have more depth in their expressions, as well as an air of command. I think it would be tacky to suddenly have ghoulish creatures descend upon the candy lands and their nymph inhabitants, but the gradual emergence of a threatening presence would be a welcome addition to my eyes.

Currently Trending

Advertise here !!!

Thom Lambert

Lot’s of fun illustrstion, prints, and good ol’ fashioned graphic design by London based creative Thom Lambert!

Currently Trending

Video Watch: Lorenz Potthast’s Real Time Slow Motion Helmet

 

German artist Lorenz Potthast  recently developed a helmet that turns the world around you into slow motion. While we still can’t quite control reality enough to actually slow the passage of time, Potthast’s helment which lets us control our perception of it is as good as we’ve got right now. Not only does it, as the video says, make the wearer aware of the time they occupy, but it makes them interact with the image world as it relates to time, which is amazing. The christmas these begin appearing under trees will be the beginning of the future we have been waiting for. Watch a video of the helmet in action after the jump. (via)

Currently Trending

The Lustrous Language Of Ben Skinner

Ben Skinner Ben Skinner BS-4Ben Skinner

It’s a tricky thing, viewing the work of artist Ben Skinner—you catch yourself reading, absorbing, appreciating and simultaneously fighting the urge to snap a photo and immediately re-appropriate his multimedia text works to your own blog/Instagram/Twitter. Using an intriguing selection of materials (ranging from gold foil to neon to sprinkles), Skinner elegantly spells out heartbreaking phrases ripped from the Zeitgeist, with a little extra flair. The witty, multicolored multimedia works tow the line between design and art, with a little extra emphasis on drawing, craft and the making of an actual object. Many of his works could easily find a life as a piece of printed design, but it’s Skinner’s willingness to experiment with materials that allows his flat, graphic works to go one step further into the realm of something more substantial.

Currently Trending

Markus Åkesson’s Oil Paintings Quietly Meditate on Death

Moody, slightly surreal paintings from Swedish artist Markus Åkesson. Åkesson’s works touch on the quiet, interior relationship we have with death. But the artist doesn’t present death as the scary, violent experience that so many make it out to be, but as a peaceful, very natural phenomenon. And his use of animals and children works really nicely to heighten this impression. Åkesson is currently exhibiting work at the VIDA museum in Borgholm. (via)

Currently Trending

The Ancient Art Of Mandalas Revisited With A Pop Culture Twist

hillerbrand-mandala4

hillerbrand-mandala2

hillerbrand-mandala7

hillerbrand-mandala5

Husband and wife visual artist team Hillerbrand+Magsamen crafted a series of twists on the traditional mandala. More commonly known through the Tibetan sand mandala, the original, ancient process consists of intricate patterns of sand that are later destroyed. Hillberbrand+Magsamen’s interpretation is similarly meticulous, but has a pop culture twist. Using things like books, Legos, shoes, sippy cups, things that are blue and others green, they arrange these objects in a circular, radiating formation. This light-hearted assemblage has a deeper meaning to the artists, who explain:

Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds. We have created mandala’s within our own home out of the stuff we have found lying around in our own creative exploration.

So often, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The act of creating these works is a slow, meditative process. As these objects form a circle, there is consideration to not only placement, but the associations we have to them. It allows us to think about how the things we own are a reflection of who we are. (Via Faith is Torment)

Currently Trending

Nathan Cyprys

FIELD

In Buried, artist Nathan Cyprys’ work is “symbolic of both our unavoidable mortality and [Cyprys’] attempt at rebirth,” according to his artist statement. He also mentions art’s uncanny ability to validate what would otherwise be considered absurd behavior. To regress into favorite childhood games, such as digging holes in the ground and climbing into them. Or should I say progress? Hmm…

Currently Trending