- Erica Snyder
ADRIAN GAUT PHOTOGRAPHS ALONG WILSHIRE BOULEVARD
While on assignment in Los Angeles, Adrian Gaut, a travel photographer whose work often appears in Condé Nast Traveler and WSJ. Magazine, found inspiration during his days off on the world-famous Wilshire Boulevard. In the thicket of Southern California’s sprawl, Wilshire runs west to east, linking Santa Monica, Century City, and Downtown Los Angeles. Dense with midcentury-modern architecture, glass skyscrapers, and looming Art Deco landmarks, the street displays the fragmented diversity of an ever-changing geographic landscape.
Gaut began to photograph the street’s emblematic buildings on subsequent trips to the city. “I was spending a lot of time in the Koreatown area and the faded midcentury architecture was appealing and well-suited to the kind of work I wanted to be doing,” he says. His first book, entitled Wilshire Blvd, is the coalescence of over a hundred images spanning the course of four years in which Gaut would engage with the local scenery on his downtime. After shooting several buildings on the boulevard, he realized, like Ed Ruscha before him, that immersing himself in one area would result in a more cohesive project. For Gaut, who has developed a keen eye and superior taste through years of experience in the field, the process of shooting was intuitive, his gaze guiding itself towards interesting subjects. The resulting collection of photographs, in both black-and-white and color, encompasses a stretch of modern, geometric design from DTLA out to the Pacific Ocean.
Shot with a long lens on a digital camera, the exteriors are stitched together as abstracted representations of the cityscape. “I was interested in taking something that didn’t have that much content in terms of purpose or an underlying message and giving it something,” explains Gaut. He describes his process, which happens predominantly in post-production, as a way for him to analyze, break up, and reassemble the original forms. Stylistic fissures cohere under Gaut’s gaze, coming together in Wilshire Blvd to offer a surreal reimagination of the eras and institutions that define Los Angeles.
Wilshire Blvd is out now. Pick up a signed copy here.
- Erica Snyder