We had the good fortune of connecting with Alon Goldsmith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alon, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m originally from South Africa and lived in Israel for six years. I’ve been in the US for thirty five years. Being exposed to different cultures has helped me develop an expanded worldview.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
2020 was very interesting for me creatively. I was inspired to investigate and document a world that had been totally reset. Having the luxury of time to play in and manipulate a new reality is not something that comes around very often. The resulting project, entitled In Place | Portraits of a Pandemic, recently published as a book, is an exploration of life at the edge of an apocalypse. The basic idea was to document what we’ve been going through collectively as a way to connect us to each other while COVID-19 and the fracturing social zeitgeist worked to keep us apart. For six months, I photographed people sheltering in place on their doorsteps and through their windows. I also wrote stories to accompany the photographs about each household documenting their experiences, feelings and thoughts about life during the pandemic. The subjects of In Place | Portraits of a Pandemic are a random sampling of people I’ve encountered in Los Angeles, as well as people I met through serendipitous encounters as a result of the project itself. I photographed rabbis, rock stars, chefs, actors, homeless women, mothers who lost children to gun violence and dozens of other wonderfully interesting and diverse Angelenos. In addition to this large body of intentional work, I also documented the pandemic in a more reactive and visceral way on my daily bike ride using my iPhone. Images from both of these projects form a deeply personal public record of life during the time of Corona.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A bike ride from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach is a definite. Lunch in Manhattan Beach or Hermosa. Photograph people on Santa Monica Pier and on the Venice Beach Boardwalk along the way. A hike up Westridge or to Inspiration Point in Will Rogers Park. A couple of days in downtown LA — the Art’s District, Disney Hall, the Broad, Grand Central Market, the Bradbury Building. Griffith Park is a must. A drive to Huntington Gardens and Mount Wilson. Beaching in Malibu and Laguna. A week is just not enough.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My dedication goes out to all the good people on Facebook and Instagram who have put up with me as I’ve clumsily honed my craft in public.
Instagram: @alon_goldsmith @alon_goldsmith_365
Facebook: Alon Goldsmith