Monday, May 23, 2011


The Slimane way.

The pale and enigmatic virtuoso of, well, everything, has taken on the task of documenting Los Angeles for the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Man About Town. At first thought, LA seems like such an unlikely home for the Parisienne visionaire, but then again, there's so much more to that sprawling metropolis than the limelight of Hollywood. LA is the home of some of the most renown American savoirs, musicians and artists but it is also home to some of America's most notorious tales of violence, neglect and urban desolation. The stage of Noir, LA's underbelly is as dirty and dark as pulp made it out to be, and there's something about it that parallels the myth making of New York City in the 70s and the 80s. The gritty, grimy prebiotic soup of culture that exploded in both cities is due in large part to the combination of violence and decay, economic stagnation and generations of disaffected youth. These are the unlikely ingredients that come together to provide the foreground for the best artistic expression - expression that captures the anxieties and the absurdities of a society in transition. 
True to his famed reticence, Slimane's portraiture of California remains dark - wondrously unaffected by its perpetual sunshine. In an interview with The New Yorker he claimed to believe in the morphology of decades, which is such a beautiful and insightful framework for which to view Slimane's body of work. Morphology is the study of form and structure, and in language, for example, morphology concerns itself with how individual components come together to make words, and inevitably meaning. It draws conclusions about the evolution of meaning by analyzing the composition of its structure. Slimane offers us one of the most original visual compositions of LA and its varied cultural landscape. He captures LA in a quiet that is deafening. Is this an LA that defines or defies the American Dream? This is LA through the lens of Hedi Slimane.

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