City of Angels
I created the City of Angels Mini-Series in two afternoons sometime in early 2012, whilst making a living as a Portrait Photographer. The project happened rather accidentally when I decided to get a deeper insight of the homelessness and drug epidemic taking place in Downtown LA, more accurately the blocks known as ‘Skid Row’.
Often you would see Photographer-Students down there taking their shots out of car with a zoom lens which was rightfully considered exploitive and disgraceful by the people living there – something that wasn’t my agenda at all.
I started a conversation with a former convict who just got out of prison, Rico, who sort of took me ‘under his wing’ and gave a broader understanding of Skid Row. I decided to grab my camera and capture some of the pain and struggle – but also the life and joy of him and some other people I met. A few moments and few close ups to get the essence of the life there.
The next day I continued getting in touch with some local street artists and homeless in Venice Beach. A lot of people – especially visitors and out-of-towners – tend to forget that LA is not only glamour and fame. Quite the contrary if you look at it from a general point of view; there’s a lot of poverty as well as artistic genius you see on streets and amidst all of it a great amount of BEAUTIFUL souls. Whether that’s the immigrant on crack or the homeless veteran – all these people MAKE Los Angeles, the city of angels.
Before his relocation back to Europe, swiss born Photographer Marc Gruninger (www.marcgruninger.com) had been shooting in and out of Los Angeles for seven years, working with musicians and actors, including Snoop Dogg, Terence Howard, Luke Hemsworth, Sung Kang, and Australian Neo-Psychedelic legends The Church. He created his first of many Fine Art Photo Series in 2012 – among them the Berlin based projects ‘Hinterhof’ (www.hinterhof.info) and ’Sister Cities Berlin:LA (www.sistercitiesberlinla.info) and The Liquor Store Series (www.theliquorstoreseries.com), a project that had him drive 30,000km through 38 States in 100 days. He currently lives and works out of Berlin, Germany.