24 cm x 22 cm softcover
shrink-wrapped
132 pages (117 black & white photos)
limited edition of 750 copies
afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian. 
Two Spurl Editions postcards are included with every order.

About the author:
John Brian King is a Los Angeles native who graduated with a degree in photography from the California Institute of the Arts. He designed the film titles for over thirty films, including Boogie Nights, Punch-Drunk Love andThe Ring. Most recently, he wrote and directed the feature film Redlands, an examination of creativity and horror in relation to photography.

All photographs © 
John Brian King — From LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980-84 by John Brian King, published by Spurl Editions.

What does it happen when a photographer goes through his archives and finds a box full of rolls, stored in boxes for more than thirty years and, suddenly, he decides that it is the moment to give them another life? Well, in many cases we will be in front of a piece of the world that has passed away maybe, but that can represent an interesting point in the history of a place or people. 
This is, more or less, what happened when John Brian King looked back at his photographs of Los Angeles in the 80’s with a new consciousness.  
LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980-84 is an historical document, one of those books that give the viewer an idea of the past, but at the same time, some elements to understand the present and the development of a city and its citizens. LAX, published by Spurl Editions, is comprised of two series of black-and-white images of a metropolis that has now vanished. 

King was 18 when he started to photograph the arrivals area of LAX airport, the international hub of the city of Los Angeles. With a very strong approach to documentary photography for that time, made by the use of a large flash unit mixed to a wide-angle lens, he was interested in capturing harried travellers, uniformed employees, and vacationers, the humor of these people who were approaching the city.

The result, as we can see browsing through the book, is a series of photograph with a wide range of personalities and approaches, not only to the place itself. It’s interesting to notice how the presence of the photographer is clear in several shoots, especially when it’s quite easy to see how the portrayed subjects didn’t expect the flashlight on them, giving back some amazing expressions while being busy doing their activities or just waiting to finally get the place they were directed to. King never asked for a permission: he was just approaching the subjects and then going away, mostly without saying a word. He states: “I had to get very close to people to get what I wanted, but then I quickly moved on (or, in many instances, they moved on, in their rush to flee the airport). I was polite but determined; I didn’t have any altercations with anyone, but they were usually too stunned to realize what had happened when I walked away”.

These photographs are a document of passed times, they show the past, the big changes the city has gone through in the last thirty years, but at the same time, they represents a situation that would be quite impossible to photograph again with this approach, as it exposes the uncomfortable chaos of airport existence before an era of obligatory surveillance.
The parallelism between LAX and LA brings the viewer to two different states of the city, that at the same time is made by the same people who come and go, who are living their everyday life, far from the imaginary we are used to when we think about Los Angeles. Here this everyday life is the main character of a vanished era. 


Buy the book here: Spurl Editions