The San Fernando Valley is an ocean of land. It is surrounded by obstacles. Incredibly easy to get to, it can be very difficult to get out of. The Valley started as the future, but now seems like a land time forgot. It’s often hotter there than it is everywhere else.The Valley is a place filled with contradiction, mistaken identity and with no singular mission. It is where the American dream was peddled, then crashed and burned as much as, if not more than, anywhere in this country. It is often considered a place you wind up by accident, made particular lifestyle choices, or just want to disappear. The Valley also has been left alone to grow into something truly all its own.
Monick has been obsessed with the Valley for over ten years while Woodside is really examining it for the first time. Having similar yet distinct shooting styles, the pair approach the massive, unwieldy and contradictory subject matter with two very different mind frames, in turn having a conversation about a place that is very hard to have a conversation about – a place that can be lost in time with its hard light, faded storefronts, countless strip malls, million donut shops, and endless wide boulevards.
The work is quiet, isolated images of a very populous place. A place where a grand experiment tried to come to fruition, yet hit a ceiling of smog and brutal sun. The conversation is about examining a place that may have never found its true purpose, yet has created an energy and beauty all its own.
The images are not definitive. They are of a road trip through neighborhoods right next to ours, just on the other side of the hill yet seemingly of a different time. The images are about looking at one thing that not one person sees exactly the same. The whole story of the Valley is impossible to tell, but these are postcards, sent from along the way.
– by Clint Woodside & Dan Monick
Clint Woodside (b. 1976) is a photographer born in Buffalo, NY. He has published over ten books including Let Me Die In My Footsteps (2013), Build Us A Path (2014) and Undercover Cars (2016). His work has been widely exhibited and published in the United States and overseas, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Sweden, China, Seoul, and Australia. Woodside is also known for his extensive work as a curator and as creator of Deadbeat Club – a publisher and distributor of small books and publications with a diverse roster of photographers. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Dan Monick is a photographer, musician, and director who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
His work has been commissioned by and featured in numerous publications and by many commercial clients. It has been exhibited at such galleries and spaces as Showboat Gallery, Slow Culture, THIS:Los Angeles, Subliminal Projects, and Soo Visual Arts Center amongst others. From 2003-2006 Dan Monick was a co-curator at the Jeff Electric Gallery in Los Angeles, focusing on first shows for new artists.
He was an administrative member of the gallery and community-based arts center THIS: Los Angeles from January of 2010 until February of 2011.
Gingko Press published his first book “Seven Years with Atmosphere and Rhymsayers” in December of 2010. His second book, “Every Payphone On Sunset Blvd” was published in October of 2012 and was part of Ed Rucha’s Books & Co exhibition. 2012 was also the year he founded F/S Press with fellow artist and Muay Thai fighter Anthony Anzalone. F/S Press published artist zines and monographs.
Monick also co- founded Cash Machine, an artist run project space and publisher in Atwater Village. Monick’s third monograph Psychic Windows was published by Cash Machine in February of 2016. December of 2016 brought Monick’s solo show “Silk Degrees” consisting of 27 pieces made with photographic prints, neon, resin and acrylic depicting Monick’s vision of the streets of Los Angeles.
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