Posting in Cities
Rather than telling the personal stories with his camera that earned him a Guggenheim, Bruce Davidson's lens is now trained on a Los Angeles population that is often overlooked -- the trees.
Known for his iconic images of Brooklyn street gangs in the 50s, East 100th Street in Harlem, and the New York City subway, New York photographer Bruce Davidson has recently refocused his attention. Rather than telling the personal stories with his camera that earned him a Guggenheim, Davidson's lens is now trained on a Los Angeles population that is often overlooked -- the trees.
"I had this vision of the superhighways, the freeways, commingling with trees," Davidson recently told Elissa Curtis of The New Yorker: "People don't stop and look at how beautiful that 405, the interchange, is with these enormous, wonderful trees. Underneath the 405, ivy was growing. Nature clings, nature will adapt, nature will find a way to live. Even under concrete. Nature is there: surrounding the grid of the city itself."
These photographs, part of an ongoing "Nature of Los Angeles" series, tell the story that moves beyond the stories of concrete that often color depictions of the West Coast metropolis. "LA is a place you can take for granted," said Davidson, "But to hone in, and to look at something as magnificent as these enormous, wonderful trees. It's not natural to fall in love with a palm tree. You'd have to have your head examined. But I did."
Some of Davidson's other work will be available for public view at the New York Photo Festival as part of Glenn Ruga's "The Razor’s Edge: Between Documentary and Fine Art Photography," May 16-20.
Apr 18, 2012
Perhaps this is not quite the remit of Davidson's book but it reminded me of this giant tree. These magnificent trees are common in Brisbane Australia (on Moreton Bay), and even in places like Sydney's large parks (though that is further south than their natural range). The Santa Barbara one may have avoided the main reason some people don't love them here: they are a favourite of fruit-bats whose purple excreta will ruin clothes and corrode paint off cars! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Barbara%27s_Moreton_Bay_Fig_Tree Santa Barbara's Moreton Bay Fig Tree ??? a giant Moreton Bay Fig, 80 feet (24 m) tall, which has one of the largest total shaded areas of any tree in North America. The tree has since been placed on the California Register of Big Trees.