Gas and Glamour
Gas and Glamour is a tribute to America’s golden age of the automobile, a time when cars themselves were objects of beauty and the act of driving was celebrated. Those cars are no longer on the streets today, but the celebratory roadside vernacular architecture from that era remains.
Mission StatementEven though some iconic buildings in Los Angeles have been lost, many have somehow endured the test of time and redevelopment. As an architectural photographer, I want to celebrate the lost design history made during the height of American optimism and ambition in LA, the capital of car culture.
About The Project
I love cars and I love Los Angeles for being a city of cars. Over the last decade or so, I have been intrigued by LA's love affair with the automobile, tracing back to a time when cars themselves were objects of beauty. Those cars are no longer on the streets today but the buildings from that era remain. My interest in this story is primarily about this car culture's manifestation within the city's built environment, especially its 'surface streets' (ordinary city streets), where there was once a time when the car and the act of driving was celebrated, and these streets once allowed a unified mental image of an urban texture to be retained - a sense which is now improbable and destroyed by freeway architecture, which has reduced entire communities to a name on the exit sign.
As an architectural photographer, I wanted to connect with that lost design history and capture LA's car-culture-induced optimism and ambition reflected in polychromatic, star-spangled coffee shops, gas stations, car washes, and others that once lured the gaze of passing motorists.These buildings were similar to advertising billboards - symbols of consumerism that sent a universal messaging to the drivers and beckoned them to come inside. They also often played a role within the social fabric of the communities that they were part of, and sometimes injected a hint of humor in the nature of the vernacular architecture itself. While some of these iconic buildings have since been lost, many have somehow endured the test of time and redevelopment, standing as sculptural icons of an era that shaped LA into one vast drivethrough experience.
The book design has been finalized and layouts approved. The funds raised through this campaign will enable me to complete a final production run of 500 copies of the book. Needless to say, this is not the best time to launch a book given the current COVID crisis. However, since all book fairs and signings have either been cancelled or postponed, I am relying on your support to build an online community around this project that would enable a successful launch of this project.
There are a total of 34 local businesses that are highlighted in this book. I would not only like to bring back the joy of travel and discovery of local destinations, but also raise awareness about the owners of the many cafes, restaurants and small businesses that are featured in the project, many of whose livelihoods have been devastated by the economic shutdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
I hope I can count on your support.
Thank you so much!!
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About This Team
I am an architectural and fine art photographer working in New York and Los Angeles. My large-scale photographs capture a sense of place tied to both natural landscapes and built environments.
My work has been published by editorial outlets such as The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, and exhibited at The Museum of the City of New York, the International Center of Photography, and The Royal Photographic Society.