The "LA Look" is an expression that appeared
in the early 1960s referring to a set of
attitudes and trends that characterise the city.
The "look" of Los Angeles is a mix of kitsch
and elegance; bright sunshine and film-noir
charm; surfers, art, car culture and deserts
as far as the eye can see.
This immensely pregnant expression highlights the multifaceted nature of Los Angeles, a city where image reigns supreme. The photographic work presented in this series begins with an analysis of the city's myriad scenarios, where reality and fiction, clichés and novelty coexist: Los Angeles is both itself and its opposite. The icons and symbols of Los Angeles, from its palm trees to its endless freeways, are a constant presence for those attempting to describe the city. This project positions itself in the space between LA's reality and our collective imagination of it. Photographing tracts of "urban nature", for example, offers a chance to portray a kind of nature that fragments the city's rigid structure, or, in the words of anthropologist and urban theorist Mike Davis, that creates "a strange choreography of the wild and the urban". Southern California's favourable climate allows plants to grow virtually anywhere. Palm trees sprout up from drainage ditches, or from cracks in the concrete where a little water can collect. Aspects are found alongside their opposites. Nature tamed and nature unbridled.
The lush greenery of the Botanical Gardens presents a complete change of scenery, where different worlds coexist in the same place, making us forget that Los Angeles grew out of the desert.
According to David James, artists who take on Los Angeles do so as if they were film directors. They transform images of the city into a narrative that inevitably has to reckon with its essence and its mythology, with cinema and an architecture made up of empty spaces, and, of course, with fiction. Similarly, these images have to deal with the city's multiple dimensions, keeping in mind that there are always two ways to photograph Los Angeles: one way, and its opposite. Alessandra Prandin, Niccolò Morgan Gandolfi
Niccolò Morgan Gandolfi was born in Washington, D.C. He studied visual arts in Milan and Venice (IUAV). In 2009 he completed his doctorate with a photographic project titled Aesthetics of Survival. His work has been included in many exhibitions and has received numerous awards.