ANGELS OVER LOS ANGELES
While listening to a late night radio talk show, a metaphysical writer spoke of seeing for a brief glimpse in time an angel crying over the Los Angeles River. We live in the city and county named after “the angels” or “los angeles”. “ANGELS OVER LOS ANGELES” is an exploration of the possibility that angels do watch over us, as our guardians. They are rarely seen, but for those who believe they feel a presence of these spirits. We live in our neighborhoods where our homes lie, and we travel daily through the city. Forty miles of the Santa Monica Mountains surround all of of LA. called the Santa Monica Mountains. When I discovered this mountain range, I learned to more love LA. I like to think that angels are watching over all the residents of Los Angeles in every corer and in every neighborhood of the City of Angels.
As a photographer, I have been drawn to explore that which is unseen by normal 20/20 vision. In the 1800’s when the spiritualism movement was most active, some clever fakery was utilized to add spirits of a dear departed onto the photographic print. One of the most well known examples of this technique was the famous Abraham Lincoln standing over his widowed wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. There were also the young English sisters who managed to fool Arthur Canon Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame, into believing through photographs that they had been visited by fairies.
The backgrounds of these images are black and white infrared taken in the Santa Monica Mountains, Los Angeles River, Downton LA, the ocean, Hollywood, and even the Santa Anita Race Track. Before digital photography, I worked with infrared film which renders a thermal reading of ultra-violet light, not seen by the human eye. In black and white, skies are often darker and foliage appears as a snow like white. While the backgrounds are opaque the angels are sandwiched into the image in a more transparent state. The photo collages were created digitally, where before this technique was accomplished in the darkroom by combining negatives or slides. Rewinding the film in camera was another process I utilized when looking to create the spirit like photography.
Rather than color, black and white was chosen to emulate the images that were seen in the photography of the spiritualism movement. It is not my intention to declare with absolute certainty that angels do exist, but to visually explore their possible presence among the residents of the City of Angels,