LOS ANGELES ART QUARTERLY
VOLUME 03 // WINTER 2016
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Help us tell LAâ€™s story. contribute at asymmetricmag.com
o nn tt ee n n tt ss cc o Artist SOPHIA GREEN uses cement as paint in her series that plays with the contrast of unnatural, urban concrete and natural beauty. // 32
MUSIC SPOTLIGHT with Lostboycrow
ARTITECTURE by Mathilda Tennysdotter
WHAT THEY’RE LISTENING TO the music that inspired this issue’s artists
SWELL by Cory Patterson
LOST ANGELS by Aja Terwilliger
A MIX OF TRADITIONAL & DIGITAL by Nick Arciero
SIMPLE CHAOS by Michael Zikry
BATHTUB BLUES by George Ballenger + Caitlin O’Connor
A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING by Rodney Bowes
FEATURED INSTAGRAM FANS
LOCAL by Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin
LAST WORD with Chris Tarello
a letter from the founder I never thought of Los Angeles as the stereotypical “glamorous” city. I also never thought of LA as gritty or grungy. This city just has a charm that I can’t really put my finger on. Maybe it’s the mix of urban and nature that I constantly see when palm trees are juxtaposed next to sky scrapers with a backdrop of mountains. Maybe it’s the mix of modern and historic, especially found in the architecture throughout the city. Maybe it’s the mix of people, cultures, art...lives. LA is just that: a mix...of good and bad. Author Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” The artists featured in this issue made me see LA in a new light, and each story is from a different perspective. Photographers Michael Zikry (page 12) and Rodney Bowes (page 18) capture details of everyday LA scenery in mesmerizing colors and compositions. Photographer Mathilda Tennysdotter shot LA’s incredible architecture in a way I’ve never seen! Photographer Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin shot the city through an amazing deserted lens (page 24), and Sophia Green expresses the mix of urban and nature in her cement paintings (page 32)–just to name a few. Enjoy each story for yourself in this issue of gold & grit!
Leah Perrino Founder & Designer
George Ballenger Rodney Bowes Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin Cory Patterson Mathilda Tennysdotter Michael Zikry
Sophia Green Aja Terwilliger
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music spotlight: Q+A with local musician
Photo by Matt Colwell
Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your EP “Sigh For Me”. How does it compare to your other work?
AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
Lostboycrow: I think it’s a new expression of where I want to be musically and also a little bit more of a specific storyline. That’s why these songs came together as an EP. It’s about where I am and where I’m headed.
LBC: Everything. Lostboycrow was born here. It’s where I call home. The people I’ve shared the stage with and places I’ve been able to see. I’ve definitely defined who I am and where I’m headed. LA is my birthplace as an artist, and home in the truest sense as Lostboycrow.
AM: How would you best describe your sound?
AM: What themes do you pursue through your music?
LBC: Intellectual, dance, and R&B are three words that pop in to my head. It’s sad and sexy; I want to make people dance and cry. AM: What inspires you most?
LBC: Real people with real emotions. It’s all about finding inspiration in the little moments and magnifying those moments into a bigger picture. 08 // A S Y M M E T R I C M A G A Z I N E
LBC: I’m a storyteller by trade. Could be mine, could be someone else’s, but it’s my job to be a journalist for the soul. I try and tell what’s out there and ask the questions. I don’t want to act like I have the answers, but I want to sing the questions and make people think. I always want to have both sadness and happiness in my music. We’re all caught in the middle of those two emotions, and music is how we deal with that.
AM: What other music is currently inspiring you?
LBC: Chance The Rapper, as an artist, as a performer, as a poet. He’s a prime example of, ‘If you do you to the fullest, people won’t fuck with you.’ Lots of Jon Waltz. The Game. Smino. Halsey. Skizzy. AM: In addition to your music, we love your visuals. How does that parallel your sound? LBC: It’s a little mysterious. It’s hopefully inviting, and I always say with the wings that I put on a lot of my pictures, it’s a reminder to everyone, myself included, that you can always be a bigger and better version of yourself. AM: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? LBC: “If you don’t fuck with you, no one else will.”
Listen to Lostboycrow’s EP “Sigh For Me” on SoundCloud: soundcloud. com/lostboycrow Photo courtesy of SoundCloud
what they’re listening to This issue’s contributors share the tunes that inspired their work. I want to say super artsy things like Bob Dylan or something. Dylan does actually inspire me a lot, but I don’t listen to him when I paint. The truth is I listen to The Weeknd’s “Trilogy” album on repeat, Drake, Future, and a mix of other hip-hop and rap artists when I’m painting. I just get in the zone and listen to trap music. That’s the honest truth! // AJA TERWILLIGER I’m currently listening to everything! Just depends on my mood. “Gasoline” by Halsey, “The Hills” by The Weeknd, “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood, “Forgot About Dre” by Dr. Dre featuring Eminem, and “No Role Modelz” by J. Cole. These are just a handful of the songs on my long playlist. // MICHAEL ZIKRY Babybird-“The Lo Fi series”, Anything by the Beasty Boys. Willie Nelson-“Teatro”, “I Love You All Over The World,” and “I Never Cared For You”. Anything by Anodica with Laura Amalia and Doron Kochli. // RODNEY BOWES Music is a huge part of my world. Right now, my playlist consists of contributions by Run The Jewels, Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Freddie Gibbs, Madlib, J Dilla, ChVrches, Jamie XX, Thundercat, Kanye West, Little Dragon, and too much more to list. // KWASI BOYD-BOULDIN I really have range when it comes to music in my studio… depending though of course, on the current feeling. Right now, though, basically anything from ’56-’59: Roy Hamilton-
“Don’t Let Go,” Lloyd Prices’ “Stagger Lee,” Bobby Freeman-”Do You Want to Dance,” James Brown-“I Want You so Bad,” and The Flamingos-“I Only Have Eyes for You”. But also, The Velvet Underground-”Heroin” and Venus in Furs and Antonio Pinto’s entire score to “Senna.” // SOPHIA GREEN I grew up with rock music so that is something that stuck with me. Whenever I’m not quite sure what to listen to I always turn to my roots and press play on something within the rock genre. // MATHILDA TENNYSDOTTER I really like to listen to full albums and mixes all the way through. All my work has a soundtrack which helps provide the necessary energy to create a piece: Tool, Phantagram, Adele, ppl mvr, Alabama Shakes, Led Zepplin, Chet Baker, Shpongle, Fredrick Handel, Melvin Taylor, Frank Zappa, Torio, Shamantis, Matt Nicholas, Beethoven, Al Green. // NICK ARCIERO We both incorporate music into our daily adventures! George’s love for tech has also bred his love and interest electronic dance music and bass-heavy music genres like dubstep and hip-hop as well. Depending on where we are, it’s fun changing the mood behind our photos with music, and George choose the music playlists we listen to based on each day’s adventure. // CAITLIN O’CONNOR + GEORGE BALLENGER Toots and the Maytals-“Got to be There” + We Were Promised Jetpacks-“It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” // CORY PATTERSON
lost Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your piece.
Aja Terwilliger: The piece “Lost Angels” is about the grit and culture in Los Angeles. As most of us know, “Los Angeles” translates to “City of Angels,” which gives the city sort of a mysterious elegant name. Before I moved to LA, I thought of palm trees, surfing, skating, pretty people, and fame. But if you live in LA, you know that there is way more to it that “the outside world” doesn’t get a glimpse of. LA is full of the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. It wasn’t until I moved to LA and happened to drive through Skid Row and more “underground” parts of the city that I saw the disparity first hand and witnessed the “Lost Angels,” if you will. People without homes, people roaming the streets full of trash and tents. The city is full of people without homes and equally as full of people with some of the most expensive homes in the world. So, I guess the piece is really about that fine line where gold meets grit. Where rich meets poor. Where the glittering sun sets on the city of lost angels. AM: What inspires you most?
AT: I’m really inspired by other people. I find other artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and artists that are local in LA, and I get inspiration for my own pieces. I get inspired by people who ask me to paint for them and who purchase my work. I am lucky to have friends who are creative and artistic. We go back and forth with ideas, and I get my own artistic freedom to do work for them. I have certain muses who make me think and who inspire me.
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t angels Q&A with AJA TERWILLIGER
AM: How did you decide skateboard decks would be your canvas?
AT: I had friends who would collect skateboard decks and hang them on their walls as art, and I always thought it was super edgy and artistic. One day after I had just moved to LA and hadn’t found a job yet, my roommate at the time said, “You should just do that, just paint on old skateboard decks and hang them on our walls.” We had just moved into our apartment and didn’t have art on the walls, so I started going to the Burton store and asking for blank decks. We ended up with walls full of painted decks and people would come over and ask me to paint stuff for them. And so it began.
“fuck it” vibe. It’s how I am in my personal life; I can be controlling, pay a lot of attention to detail and take a lot of time on something, and at the end sometimes, I sort of just think, How can I make this interesting? or How can I ruin this?. It can be a little counter-productive, but I think that’s how my artwork is. I’d say my style is urban and pop-art combined–like Tu Pac meets Andy Warhol. Aja Terwilliger is an LA-based artist from the suburbs of Atlanta. She has always considered herself a free spirit and loved to paint because it gave her a sense of freedom. She was involved in The Venice Surf and Skate Silent Art Auction and designed boards for fashion designer, Mister Triple X.
AM: What roles does LA play in your work?
AT: The skate culture began in LA with the Z Boys and Dogtown. So, it’s fun for me to think about the history of a deck when I buy used skateboard decks to paint on. It has way more soul and more history than just buying a blank canvas. I don’t skate, but I absolutely love snowboarding, and my snowboard sort of tells its own story: what it’s been through, where I’ve taken it, the falls and journeys it’s taken. I think of the same thing with a skateboard: how many people dedicate their life to that little piece of wood, and I put that into my painting. AM: What themes and styles do you pursue in your work?
AT: I love dripping paint, and I love throwing paint. You can’t plan it, and you can’t predict where the paint is going to end up–I love that. I’ll paint an image of something that I’ve spent hours and days painting and then literally throw paint on it. I think it just gives it an edge and a fun sort of asymmetricmag.com //
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photo story by MICHAEL ZIKRY asymmetricmag.com //
Above // Street Dreams Page 15 // Land of the Lost
This photo series incorporates what most people think about when they think about LA. I tried to take photos that people see every day and change the perspective a little bit. We’ve all seen the skylines and Hollywood sign, but I try to capture these shots differently. I fell in love with photography at a very young age. Some people think it’s genetic, because my dad picked up photography as a hobby when he was in his twenties. He tried to capture every moment of my family growing up over the years. We have closets full of pictures…and I mean full. Thanks to him, I’ll be able to share these memories with family and friends. 14 // A S Y M M E T R I C M A G A Z I N E
I picked up my first DSLR last summer. I slowly began taking it with me everywhere. Taking pictures of random things, streets, buildings, people...you name it. Not one shot I have is exactly the same. That’s what I love about photography. No matter how many times I revisit the same location, I look for a new perspective. I want to share my passion with the world, and show them the beauty that surrounds us. Passion is what drives me. There is so much life and beauty in this city and I want to capture it all. I’m still new to photography and am learning every day. Each day, I end up pursuing something different based on
my current mood. Some days are a lot more chaotic and busy than others, so I try to incorporate that in my photos. You can see that in my “Bleeding Blue” photo. Other days are more calm and simple, so I try to capture something like my “Curves” shot. I enjoy taking vibrant, colorful pictures, but also love shooting in black and white. Each has their advantages over the other. I love shooting architecture in black and white. It tends to bring out the details of the building. Whereas, I must take sunset photos in color. I used to work for an office at nights, and would rarely see the sun setting. The sunset looks so different each day and I try to capture every detail of its warmth and color.
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Michael Zikry is a Los Angeles based photographer. He recently graduated with a B.S. in cellular and molecular biology from California State University, Northridge.
Above // Light up the Night Page 17 Top // Bleeding Blue Page 17 Bottom // Through the Wire
los angeles, photo story by
a wolf in sheepâ€™s clothing RODNEY BOWES asymmetricmag.com //
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The series is my insights and perceptions of the environment in which I live. My environment becomes my theme. It fascinates me to compare what I photograph, what I see as interesting, and how it makes me feel in a new environment to what I photograph in the same environment years later, once I’ve become inured. Perception is always truth, yet it’s interesting how the truth becomes different through time. From naïveté to a completely different form of naïveté. ...I let the location dictate what I capture on film, and in my post production, I articulate what I saw and how it made me feel. Funny that I actually lead my life in the same fashion.
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Rodney Bowes is an LA-based photographer and designer best known for his music photography and album art. He has been running his original design company, Rodney Bowes Design, for 35 years. His clients include Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Rush, David Bowie, Ramones, Dead Boys, Plasmatics, Shania Twain, The Band, Oscar Peterson, Sam and Dave, Blondie, Elvis Costello, Poison, Nickelback, Steve Miller Band, Smashing Pumpkins, Godsmack, Creed, Live Nation, EMI, Universal Music, BMG Music, Sony Music, Bell Telephone, Estee Lauder, Warner Music, Blue Note Records, and many more.
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photo story by KWASI BOYD-BOULDIN asymmetricmag.com //
The reality on the ground contrasts so harshly with the way it’s perceived by outsiders.
y photography is an extension of my desire to communicate the innate, overlooked, and vanishing beauty that can be found throughout the changing neighborhoods of the city. I’m constantly inspired by the city of Los Angeles, both it’s structural composition and the people that inhabit it. Growing up in East Hollywood/Koreatown has given me a unique appreciation of everyday life in the city. I strive to promote and preserve that underrepresented version of LA to the world at large. The reality on the ground contrasts so harshly with the way it’s perceived by outsiders that it’s an incredibly interesting place to shoot. I also have a great deal of personal history tied to that area that draws me back to photograph it time and time again.
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As a whole, Los Angeles is undergoing a massive transformation right now. In some ways, itâ€™s bittersweet. There are many positive developments, such as the new Broad Museum, the expansion of the Metro transit system, and the revitalization of Downtown LA. Unfortunately though, with so much being added, a great deal is being lost, as well. Our rental market is ridiculous, and the pervasive issue of homelessness remains largely unaddressed. People, including many that make up the heart and soul of the city, are being pushed to the margins to make room for luxury apartments and condos. My work in this series, as well as in most of my portfolio, is focused on documenting these changing neighborhoods before they are gone. There is a beauty to the desolation that is being lost, a working class aesthetic that is being erased form the mainstream narrative at an alarming pace. I often traverse the same neighborhoods, so changes such as torn down buildings or new graffiti jump out and catch my eye. Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin has been documenting the Los Angeles urban landscape for over a decade. His work is an examination of the physical structure of neighborhoods and how they are molded and reconfigured by outside elements (demographics, gentrification, the passage of time).
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ASYMMETRIC asymmetricmag.com //
PAINTING black with some pink, 2015
concrete, sand and paper on cement board 42” x 36” (106.68cm x 91.44cm)
by SOPHIA GREEN
With these three pieces, I explore and question the beautiful rawness that is people’s inherent nature to how they express love, romance and passion–the duality between hard and vulnerable but also the lightness and dreaminess of its potential. I’m drawn most to the view out the window: what I’m surrounded by, the city full of concrete with spits and spurts of nature here and there, which is my home, Los Angeles. I decided to embrace [LA] for its brightness, amateurishness, sparkle, and reality. The sprawl of it, the streets, alleys, buildings, sidewalks, trees, mountains, the ocean; it’s fragile and young, yet a bit decomposed. I don’t know; I just find the mess of it to be incredibly scintillating and ultimately incredibly inspiring.
nothing about cement and had zero clue as to whether any of it would actually work. Dozens of rotted epoxied apples and slabs of broken concrete later, I was sitting outside one day, after yet another failed attempt, with a bucket of sludge (what I call leftover cement sediments) and my 18”x24” sketch pad. I hadn’t noticed when some of this ‘sludge’ had gotten all over some of the paper, but it had dried really beautifully. And that was the moment, I guess, when my light bulb really went off. It’s been a year now, and I hate to toot my own horn, but the development and process has been really fucking interesting, challenging and fascinating. The greatest aspect is that it keeps going everyday. Daily, I’m inspired with new ideas and new possibilities–they’re entirely endless!
[It was] exactly a year ago. I was laying in bed and thought, I want to create a TRUE still life…I need to [somehow] preserve a piece of fruit…forever…place it in cement… forever…this will make a REAL still life. Which means then, that the cement will essentially be the canvas… Then that idea led to the next idea: So, if cement is the canvas…what else can I put in/on it…And if cement is the canvas, then it’s actually the painting…And so on and so on and so on. I was up half the night thinking about the endless possibilities and could not wait to wake up the next morning and hit the hardware store up to buy my first bag of cement. I simply chose to ignore the fact that I knew
I quickly learned that making slabs of concrete the size I wanted was going to be physically impossible. So now, I use wood, cement board, or real canvas as the physical foundation of my pieces. Depending on which base I go with, I may or may not have to prime the board with some sort of adhesive. I use Regular Portland Cement Type I and Lehigh White Portland Cement that I hand mix with sand. There is definitely a ‘proper’ ratio when mixing, which I have also chosen to ignore. I’ve learned by trial and error, and now my ratio depends on the texture I am going for–more water [makes it] thinner and more sand [makes it] grainier. I mix it all by hand and then just start applying it
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unguarded terrain, 2015
concrete on wood board 20” x 20” (50.8cm x 50.8cm)
to my base (I always start with gloves, but they always end up coming off eventually). For colors, I used to only use cement dyes, which was very limiting. About a month ago, I started incorporating oil paints mixed with paint thinner, and I feel this new world of color is really taking everything to the next level.
THEMES I’m really most intrigued with the destructive dance and cohabitations or existing relationship between urban structure, nature, and us [humans]. We’ve built society on a literal concrete foundation and practically decimated our natural environment in the process. Nature has its way of fighting back, yet we strive for a more natural existence and landscape. I see the beauty in the decay and cracks on the walls and in the street or where grass or the lone flower
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desperately peaks out of the sidewalk for air. It’s a relationship. I’m aware we aren’t going to tear down the walls and let the trees reign once again, so instead of fighting it, I choose to honor it. By using the ultimate resource that inherently destroys, I want to make our ‘unnatural’ world look a little more natural, and hence, a little more beautiful. Sophia Green was born and raised in LA. She was schooled in the woods of Burlington Vermont, where she studied art, history and sociology. "Cement is my paint, my hands are my brushes. Concrete is my art and expression."
Fantasy vis-á-vis Reality, 2015
diptych: concrete and oil paint on cement board 72” x 60” (182.22cm x 152.4cm)
or full series + artist interviews, go to
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photo story by MATHILDA TENNYSDOTTER
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hese photos are combining my coloring with amazing buildings and structures in Los Angeles. We often take buildings for granted and don’t see the beauty in the architecture, and that is what I want to show with my series. My absolute favorite building is the Getty Center. I love spending my days up there just walking around and exploring. Even though I’ve been there many times, I always find new ways to see the structures, and it almost feels like they transform during the day when the sun changes position in the sky. The composition [of each photo] is my priority, but what I do [post-production] has to be similar to the feeling or thought that’s in my head when I’m shooting. Most of the time, colors are associated with some kind of feeling, and that’s what I use as a guide when I add my color in post. Mathilda Tennysdotter is an LA-based Swedish freelance photographer shooting architecture, portraits, and travel photography. asymmetricmag.com //
swe photo story by CORY PATTERSON
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ell asymmetricmag.com //
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This body of work is from some time I spent in Oceanside with RW Surf Shop owner Cory Whitlock. We spent a few weeks chasing the swell and shooting with team rider Poopies from the series Who is J.O.B. and Jay Chaney from team Ecuador. Every morning was perfect, and all of the elements really came together. Cory Patterson is a traveling photographer inspired by his surroundings. He is best known for his ocean and surf photography.
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Q&A with NICK ARCIERO
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Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your contribution. Nick Arciero: My contribution is a mix of my traditional art and my digital art. They both explore the same underlying theoretical concepts with very different end products. AM: What inspires you most?
NA: Not understanding concepts that I would really like to understand. The roller coaster of all the good and bad that happens on the journey to understanding. I enjoy the process of attempting to unravel the tangled concepts that keep me up at night and only half hoping it doesn’t drive me mad. In a strictly visual sense, I derive a lot of inspiration from ancient eastern art, traditional tribal art, mathematical algorithms and geometry, all things space and sci-fi, technology, Keith Harring & M.C. Escher, the game GO, music, and most importantly, my family, my dog and nature...just to name a few.
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AM: What role does Southern California play in your work? NA: Los Angeles has been an interesting place for me, and it’s had a profound impact on my work. I could probably write a book on it. I didn’t have any interest in coming out here, but a job transferred me here when I was 24. I had the intent to stay here for 2 years and then move back to NYC. I’ve been here 8 years now... After years of developing visual and theoretical concepts related to my art, there was a turning point for me–probably surfing–where it all started to make sense and come together. So, my art really found its visual voice in Southern California. If I didn’t come out or stay here, I’m not sure my art wold have developed the way it has and hopefully will continue to in the future. I can honestly say that I’m grateful to be here and surrounded by so many amazingly talented people that have been instrumental to my experience.
AM: What different media do you work with? NA: Imagination with a splash of logic. AM: What’s your favorite medium?
NA: Without a doubt, sumi-ink and brush on rice paper. AM: What themes do you pursue in your work?
where between researching the field of interest and then experimenting with visual concepts related to the field in an attempt for a better understanding. From there, organic concepts start to take shape, and then it’s off to the races. Nick Arciero is an LA-based multi-discipline mixed media artist combining painting, illustration, digital design, and photography
NA: I generally start with a broad topic of interest. For the past several years, it’s been the fields of physics, math and humanity. I’m fascinated by the missing link between quantum, retaliative, astro, and meta physics. My process is to observe, explore and create in an attempt to understand it all little more. I’d have to say this larger theme is under all my work. I never have an exact plan on how a piece should start or be finished. For me, the magic seems to happen some-
photos by GEORGE BALLENGER model CAITLIN Oâ€™CONNOR
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“This photo series was a collaboration between myself and my boyfriend, George Ballenger. I call it, “Bathtub Blues.” While I was shooting this series with George at my home in the Hollywood Hills, I was imagining an experience of a breakup. I wanted to portray a somber, yet contemplative feeling behind the photos. I was interested in being sexy, yet full of sadness. [As an actress and model,] I am inspired by powerful and sexy women. I admire women in the entertainment industry who portray badass female archetypes like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lucille Ball, Wonderwoman, and Bond girls who own their strength and sex appeal! As a team, we pursue beauty–naturally, and man-made in nature, human emotions and the range of feeling within a photo, and combining strength with sex appeal. As a woman in entertainment, I try to inspire others to own their sexuality and to not be ashamed of feeling powerful. I want to empower women to be bold and follow their dreams in an exciting way!” // CAITLIN O’CONNOR Caitlin O’Connor is an actress and model who was born in Los Angeles and raised near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Hollywood and is best known for her work with Maxim magazine. She was recently a cast member on the series finale of Two and a Half Men and can be seen in the new film Southpaw.
“As a photographer, inspiration comes from all angles of life for me; from landscapes to the human body. I love to explore nature. Things are natural and things that are man-made create a broad spectrum for me to become inspired; there’s so much beauty in life to stop and ponder. I love the challenge in capturing the perfect angle with the perfect light to give the right feeling that I want to portray in my photos.” // GEORGE BALLENGER George Ballenger is a director of photography by trade and a photographer by hobby. He currently works on a television show called Last Man on Earth in the camera department. He is from Oklahoma and has lived in Los Angeles for 8 years, currently residing in Hollywood.
@ m in _ w a t
@ k e v in b a d
tu @ cpick
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@aa ahhle xx
_ ro d
etc l a s t re
ye @ hawke
THE BAR FLY PART 2 by CHRIS TARELLO
Woah, take it slow. That’s expensive stuff to be salivated over – like that moment when you’re millimeters from locking lips with a beautiful woman in a bar not unlike this one... You don’t want to get out here? Another round would suit me too... Did you know that the moon’s diameter is the same distance from L.A. to N.Y.?
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