AAP Magazine #7 - Wild

Dotan Saguy: Venice Beach Culture

Dotan Saguy: Venice Beach Culture
Dotan Saguy: Venice Beach Culture
When I lived in Maine and I would travel the 3,000+ miles to Los Angeles, I would often head straight to Venice Beach from the airport. It seemed like such a foreign place compared to the rocky, deep harbored coastline where there was literally no one on the cliffs but me (and maybe Paul Caponigro catching some fleeting rays if the weather was warm enough). The irony is that when I moved to LA years later, Venice Beach was still as foreign as when I lived with lobstermen and several feet of snow and saw the sun rise instead of set over the endless sea. It was because the only constant at Venice Beach was the guy on roller skates playing Jimi Hendrix on his guitar as he sailed past me. Everything else was guaranteed to be different and to be a surprise, a rich, visual surprise, every time I braved the traffic to drive across the sprawl of the city from the east side.

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

And here today, I was reminded of that surprise when I was jurying PhotoLucida's Critical Mass competition and came upon Dotan Saguy's portfolio of Venice Beach Culture. Sure, Muscle Beach and skate boarders, that's expected, but not the shimmering Herculean man stepping out into the light with his one foot lingering in the shadows, almost as if he's being released into a ring (this image is appropriately called "Gladiator."). There is another of Saguy's images, a figure in a pair of toe shoes balanced on a wire from below, the feat seemingly impossible, but captured by the photographer's lens. And then, of course there are giant snakes in the sand at Venice Beach. And of course, children are crawling around in the sand with them. Of course. And as always, the sky is clear and the light is bright and no one has anything to hide. Even the couple stretching before they roller skate past Jimi Hendrix.

Here is what the photographer had to say about this series:

"In a modern western culture where societal norms have rendered in-person contact and spontaneous generosity scarce, Venice Beach is one of the last places where these free-spirited moments still occur frequently and between complete strangers. My project candidly documents unprompted magical moments happening on Venice Beach and the people who take part in them, from the buff Muscle Beach body builders to the frail intoxicated young transients living the bohemian lifestyle.

"Today, as Venice Beach comes under attack by accelerating gentrification and corporate interests, I feel an urgency to create a body of work that documents this endangered culture and the threats it faces while it is still very much alive."

You'll find more snakes, more muscles, and more surreal moments on Dotan Saguy's website. Maybe even enough to cause you to make an immediate bee line to Venice Beach the next time you land at LAX.

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy

Dotan Saguy


  Dotan Saguy
David Bailey: SUMO
 
 

More Photography News

News
Mexico Between Life and Death by Harvey Stein
Mexico Between Life and Death by Harvey Stein
Harvey Stein's fascination with Mexico began when he was a teenager. Compared to the ordinary surroundings of his youth in Pittsburgh, Mexico seemed a...
  Read More
News
Overall winners revealed for 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Overall winners revealed for 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
The World Photography Organisation today names the overall winners of the prestigious 2019 Sony World Photography Awards. The coveted Photographer of...
  Read More
News
Results of All About Photo Awards 2019 - The Mind
Results of All About Photo Awards 2019 - The Mind's Eye
It was a privilege and an honor to be one of the jurors for this new edition of All About Photo Awards 2019. First of all, I would like to thank...
  Read More
News
VII in Sarajevo: Festival of the Image
VII in Sarajevo: Festival of the Image
From May 9 - 11, the newly formed VII Academy, a project of the VII Foundation and partner of VII Photo Agency, will host a three-day festival of...
  Read More
News
The Cincinnati Art Museum acquires Nancy Rexroth
The Cincinnati Art Museum acquires Nancy Rexroth's archive
The Cincinnati Art Museum announces a landmark acquisition agreement to form The Nancy Rexroth Collection, which will bring together over 300 rare and...
  Read More
News
LACP: Fourth Annual Fundraising Gala
LACP: Fourth Annual Fundraising Gala
The Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP), a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization, will be hosting its annual Fundraising Gala on Saturday,...
  Read More
News
HOMELANDS: Life on the Edge of the South African Dream, photographs by Pieter De Vos
HOMELANDS: Life on the Edge of the South African Dream, photographs by Pieter De Vos
Homelands by Pieter de Vos (Daylight, June 2019) explores life in contemporary South Africa through the experiences of Donald Banda, a resident of an...
  Read More
News
Will Burrard-Lucas: The last images of the Elephant Queen
Will Burrard-Lucas: The last images of the Elephant Queen
British wildlife photographer, Will Burrard-Lucas, in partnership with Tsavo Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service, has photographed a remarkable female...
  Read More
News
Workshop with Henry Horenstein and Tianqiutao Chen
Workshop with Henry Horenstein and Tianqiutao Chen
PHOTO ROME is a two-week workshop focusing on improving your photography skills, honing your personal vision, and learning a bit about Roman history...
  Read More
News
Off The Clock Gala & Exhibition
Off The Clock Gala & Exhibition
APA Los Angeles is excited to announce the seventh annual Off The Clock curated exhibit of inspired personal photography. The exhibition is comprised...
  Read More
News
BOOK: Isa Leshko
BOOK: Isa Leshko 'Allowed to Grow Old'
Allowed to Grow Old is a dignified and affectionate portrait series of elderly animals living on farm sanctuaries. Prompted by an event in Leshko's...
  Read More
News
Summer Workshop 2019 with Arja Hyytiaainen
Summer Workshop 2019 with Arja Hyytiaainen
The five days homeworkshop at Pied Dore (16th July to 20th of July) situated on the countryside of Vendee, will focus on a ongoing project and/ or the...
  Read More
David Bailey: SUMO
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
AAP Magazine#7 Wild
 
Discover the 5th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices