Publisher: Self published
Size: 27 x 37 cm (approx.)
Softcover, edition of 750 copies, signed, design by Mevis & Van Deursen, text by Gale Holland & Désirée van Hoek.
Former fashion photographer Désirée van Hoek worked from 2007 to 2015 on Skid Row in Los Angeles. This neighbourhood in Downtown LA is home to some 15.000 (former) homeless people. In her photo book, Van Hoek tries to capture the humanity of the neigbourhood by zooming in on its ‘material culture’. Her focus is on people’s dwellings and possessions, and the buildings and structures that shape their environment.
In the words of Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, director of the WUHO gallery in LA that showed the pictures in October 2015:
‘Many of the ingredients you might find in fashion are here: colorful fabrics, incongruous textures, and especially people who, without assistants, producers or directors, have managed to convert founds assemblages into outfits and environments full of power and character. [...] These photographs have made me fall in love with my city all over again. Désirée has managed to capture a part of our city that we, as the citizens of Los Angeles, too often overlook or ignore. She has done so with very great respect of our subjects and with an eye for hidden beauty. [...] The photographs make me think differently about the architecture of our city. For the people of Skid Row, architecture, essentially that which protects and shelters, can be a shopping cart, a blanket, the sidewalk, a headscarf, a fence that acts a hanging device for all of my belongings, and cardboard signs that communicate as well as shields us from the sun and the rain.’
Skid Row is designed by internnationally renowned Dutch design studio Mevis & Van Deursen (Visual identity Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam), The introduction is written by Gale Holland, Skid Row reporter of the Los Angeles Times. Distribution is handled by Idea Books.