‘5th Grade Dreams’ made its Danville debut last month, but I still haven’t fully processed the the experience. And I probably never will.
There were guests from 8 different states and London, England. People from all chapters of my life made an effort to come see the photos and meet my classmates.
The show will be up at the Danville Art League until Dec. 14. Danville District 118 students continue to visit the show as part of their class curriculum.
Kelsey greets me after entering the exhibition with her husband, Aaron, Both were represented in the show.
Nesa and I photographed among her portraits during the reception on Oct. 12.
Brandi, Brandi’s girlfriend Cat, and I at the show.
During the first week of December I’ll be give a tour to the current fifth-grade MATS class. That’s what will bring this project full-circle. And while I plan to continue to work on this project for the years to come, I look forward to taking some time away from it and pursuing new artistic interests in 2020.
A light way to stay sharp is to photograph the other creative people who live and work in Los Angeles. Seemingly everyone is trying to make stuff, which is precisely what makes Los Angeles a lovely and difficult place to live. But when I photograph other artists, for a moment it feels like we’re all in the fight together.
When I saw Austin Antoine perform in a hot yoga studio during Echo Park Rising last month, I knew we’d have to work together. He rapped and sang about being ‘professionally broke’ (word), millennialisms, existential dread, and vices. I felt seen! We set up a time to shoot in Boyle Heights an hour before he kicked off his cross-country tour. I think he’s in DC right now.
The sequence of three images here might seem like some intentional experiment, but really it’s because the curtain on my 1959 6x6 camera is sticking again. It’s my favorite and least reliable camera. Sometimes I fantasize about a bunch of money falling in my lap so I can replace it.
Another artist, Mashael, contacted me via this website. She is an MFA student at USA, studying screen and television writing. In her second year, she’s come to realize some new portraits might serve her well in her professional endeavors. She is 22 and from Saudi Arabia.
Lastly is my friend Jess, whom I assist on editorial and commercial shoots sometimes. These were taken at her house on a day when we weren’t working, we were just drinking champagne and talking about death and tarot.
Trevin is a friend of mine from high school. When he contacted me via Instagram, I had not spoken with him in more than eight years. He said he’d just moved to San Diego and wanted to come visit LA. We drank red wine in my steamy apartment and then did a brief shoot in my neighborhood. Trevin is a natural model, I think.
I remember him as a him as a charismatic performer, some one who is fluent in the absurd. He was the first male I met who wore women’s clothing. He’s still the same and his sharp memory made me happy and nostalgic. I think that comes through in some of these images.