There’s nothing better than starting your morning with a nice cup of coffee and a little photograph of Robert Plant in a Speedo, playing soccer, casually, in Encino. I mean, am I right? At least, this is how I feel about Brad Elterman’s vintage paparazzi photography.
Taken when he was a teenager in the 1970s, long before roaming candids overwhelmingly lined our checkout shelves and powered ad revenue for various websites, Elterman brings a wild naivety to these specific shots that are, strangely, almost endearing. This softness might be relative to time + distance, but I don’t know. I also like to think that it’s more so reflective of the person behind the camera: a teenage youth excited to relate and investigate not just icons, but also the heart of his beloved city: Los Angeles.
For instance, the most striking aspect of Elterman’s Joan Jett portraits is not her fame nor her coolness, but instead, it’s an understanding that the photographer has with Jett’s charming desire to dwell at the Tropicana and slum amongst LA’s Rock N’ Roll finest. There’s something very optimistic and lovely about identity and everyday social performance that is examined. Scroll down after the jump to see what I mean, and while you’re there, check out a perfect shot of super casual Rod Stewart mingling after a random soccer match in Coldwater Canyon, dragging a pint of beer and chatting up some pretty dog walker. In each image, we are not wowed by hot nightclubs nor couture culture. No. We’re impressed by Los Angeles and it’s rich variety of eccentric yet absolutely charismatic artists figuring out how to be seen and be in the world as they are, at the same time.
Not only was Brad Elterman always present at the right time and the right place, but he also has a story to tell about every moment he captured with his camera. From nearly getting beaten up by Robert Plant’s roadies for getting a shot of the singer in his briefs playing soccer, to the moment Joan Jett flicked him off and thus allowed him to get one of the most quintessential late 1970’s images of rock n’ roll. He’s still shooting like crazy and if you follow him on Tumblr, where he’s quite the sensation, you can check out all of his great photos of yesterday as well as today. Brad Elterman’s photographs will also be on display at Kana Manglapus Gallery in Venice Beach from June 28th – September 10th.
I first saw Allison Krumwiede’s art at the LA Zine Fest and still can’t believe she isn’t like the biggest most important artist ever. Her pop culture work is incredible and her talent literally spans across every medium – from digital rendering to needlepoint. Whereas most artists spend their entire lives trying to perfect one thing like pen and ink drawings, she can easily switch between a brush and a needle like a civilian trades forks for knives at a dinner table. So, it’s rare that someone like Allison comes around, extremely freaking rare! She is definitely a talent to watch out for, especially considering she’s already done commercial work for some of the country’s media bigwigs like The New York Times and The Village Voice within a year of graduating from Art Center.