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Concept and photography:
Thomas Locke Hobbs
Rob van Hoesel
Jos Morree (Fine Books)
Wilco Art Books (NL)
The lines that divide us are the spaces we share. Driveways, paths, entrances and walls. These are the boundaries that separate our homes, but also the in between areas we use and cross over.
L.A. Vedute by Thomas Locke Hobbs (US) is a documentary study of domestic architecture in the city of Los Angeles. The project started after a walk around Hollywood East. Standing on the property line of two apartment buildings with adjacent driveways, the space in between reminded Hobbs of a painting: The Ideal City of Urbino, by an unknown Renaissance artist and famous for the optical linear perspective that shows the city in its greatness, with the total absence of people. The illusion of space is achieved when receding lines that establish spatial relationships converge at a central vanishing point.
Using a large format camera and rigorously consistent framing, Hobbs depicts the negative space between neighbouring buildings. The work presents the way shared spaces recede to a common vanishing point, largely unpopulated and deserted, like movie sets where actors have disappeared. L.A. Vedute exposes the veins of a city, in conflict and coexistence, with a poetic obliviousness: metaphors of alienation.
Thomas Locke Hobbs studied at the Talleres de Estética Fotográfica in Buenos Aires. He exhibited his work in Cuzco, Lima, London, Phoenix and online with Abrir Galeria. His book, Maravilla del Mundo, was shortlisted for the Tinta.pe award in Lima and selected for Festival ZUM in São Paulo. He taught photography at the New York Film Academy and gives workshops around the world.
“Despite the formality and preciseness of the layout, the double page spreads, unabashed embrace of the gutter (something many photographers abhor), and interleaving hits of color make this a sharp, contemporary book. It points to all the ways in which a well-matched book design and materiality can bolster a strong body of work.” (Lesley A. Martin)
“Hobbs photographed negative spaces with devotion. He fixed a large-format camera on the vanishing points between Angeleno residencies, with driveways, carports, and entryway gates as focal points. But the book lets these pictures bleed across two-page spreads, and the focal points are more or less eradicated as they sink into the gutter. What’s left to see is a chaos of angles in large format detail, the many edges of residential architecture and its haphazard foliage. It is an antithesis to Ed Ruscha, a heart in the same Google Street View robot that contains Ed’s brain.” (Bucky Miller)
“L.A. Vedute is a book that explores architectural conventions in Los Angeles and points to culture, territory, and proximity relationships. Homes are divided by clear lines of segregation regarding architecture and private space. Though these throughlines between homes are not divisive regarding what Locke Hobbs wishes to illustrate, they speak volumes about how Americans live with one another. The work is typological but in as much as they outline a phenomenon more than a repetition of architecture or a defined object. The book is a fascinating study that bridges the gap between photography and municipal and civic documentation.” (Brad Feuerhelm)