Exhibitions

Street Seen: Photographic Elevations of Los Angeles by Larry Yust

December 19, 2004 to February 27, 2005

Since 2002, noted filmmaker and photographer Larry Yust has created what he calls “photographic elevations.” This exhibition presents forty-seven of these colorful, sweeping views of LA’s urban landscape, from distinctive neighborhood hubs in the south of the city to the funky charm of the Venice Boardwalk to the hip commercialism of Melrose Avenue. Included are blocks-long images of Broadway in the heart of downtown; commercial blocks of Hollywood, Beverly, and Sunset Boulevards; a row of whimsically painted residences; and many other lesser known but visually arresting streetscapes.

Yust makes these compelling images of the streets of LA —where he has long lived — by snapping overlapping photographs of blocks of storefronts and buildings, then digitally composing them into one seamless image, rendering a fascinating perspective that cannot be captured by other photographic techniques or the naked eye.

Exhibition in Depth

Since 2002, filmmaker and photographer Larry Yust has created what he calls “photographic elevations.” Forty-seven of these colorful, sweeping views of LA’s urban landscape—from distinctive neighborhood hubs in the south of the city to the hip commercialism of Melrose Avenue.

Included are blocks-long images of Broadway in the heart of downtown; commercial blocks on Hollywood, Beverly, and Sunset Boulevards; a block of whimsically painted residences; and many other lesser known but visually arresting streetscapes. Most of the images on display are approximately four feet long, but two elevations— one of the Venice Boardwalk and another of a vast wall of graffiti along Slauson Boulevard —measure nearly eighteen feet in length.

Yust makes these compelling images of the streets of LA —where he has long lived — by snapping overlapping photographs of blocks of storefronts and buildings, ensuring that the plane of the camera lens and the plane of the subject always remain parallel. He records numerous pictures for each elevation, and then digitally composes them into one long seamless image, rendering a perspective that cannot be captured by other photographic techniques or the naked eye. Shooting early in the morning without parked cars blocking the view enhances the clarity of his street scenes and draws attention to the cultural variety and architectural idiosyncrasy that characterizes Los Angeles.

The exhibition scheme—designed by Alexander Yust, chief preparator at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—is organized geographically beginning with elevations of north-south running streets grouped as they appear from the east side of Los Angeles to the west, and then following with elevations of east-west running streets starting in the south of the city and continuing north.

Larry Yust began taking photographs while scouting locations as a filmmaker, a career launched as the writer/director/producer of a series of dramatizations of classic short stories and plays for Encyclopaedia Britannica Films. He has written and directed feature films and for television, and his photographs appear in the book Salvation Mountain: The Art of Leonard Knight and in the forthcoming art book METRO, a collection of his photographic elevations of Paris Metro stations.

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