VENICE, CA.- Over the past three years, Los Angeles based photographer Dotan Saguy has spent hundreds of hours documenting the diverse culture, people, and pageantry of the iconic Venice Beach boardwalk. He was irresistibly drawn to the free-spirited, anti-materialistic, and inclusive nature of the world-famous location which he found to be a breath of fresh air from Los Angeles's sometimes homogenized, celebrity obsessed culture.
Saguy hung out with his subjects for many hours at a time so he could learn about their passions, struggles, and gain their trust. As a result, he became part of the Venice Beach family of local artists, transient hippies, tattoo covered surfers, oiled body builders, street performers, skateboarders and local vendors, among other Venice denizens. He photographed them in raw, candid moments that are unique to the human landscape of this last bastion of unadulterated freedom.
In showing us the revelations of Venice Beach, Saguy has created a body of work filled with unexpected surprises. His fascination for the colorful community is reflected in his compassionate photographs which unabashedly praise the rarity of the regulars who populate the sands of Venice. With an almost obsessive compulsion, Saguy strives to create perfection using separation and geometry resulting in harmonious scenes of rich detail. His use of layering allows us an insight into the chaos he organizes so beautifully within the confines of the frame.
Unfortunately, Venice Beach is sitting on the edge of a knife: gentrification and corporate greed threaten to squash the way of life that has defined Venice for decades. Median home prices in Venice are now over $2 million, and the cost of renting a 2-bedroom apartment has skyrocketed to around $5,000 monthly. The regulars are starting to move far away in search of affordable housing. Saguy knows that he has documented what could be a lost society. It is his hope that his book will help bring awareness to the issues at stake before this amazing way of life is left to fade away.
Dotan Saguy was born in a small kibbutz, five miles south of Israel's Lebanese border. He grew-up in a diverse working class Parisian suburb, lived in Lower Manhattan during 9/11, and moved to Los Angeles in 2003. Saguy pursued his passion for photography after a successful career as a high-tech entrepreneur. His award-winning photographs have been published by National Geographic, Photo District News, Leica Fotografie International, ABC News, among other publications. Most recently, Saguy is a proud laureate of the Photolucida Critical Mass