South African photographer Robert Lang has released a zine of an ongoing project documenting the Venice Beach locals since 2010-2017.
The 100 printed 24 page Zine of 31 photos, documents everyday life on Venice Beach, Los Angeles and the inhabitants who are drawn to the eclectic community that are fighting off the forthcoming technology community who threaten to turn Venice into silicone beach.
In 2013, Snapchat moved into Venice Beach, where it has now become a rising target for locals who have taken aim at the multi millionaire company that is wreaking havoc on the beach.
Local residents believe Snapchat are disguising themselves under a pseudo business name and purchasing property along the beach, but the company has denied this claim. This past April, notable institutions like the Venice Beach Freakshow had closed its doors.
With up to 30 properties already bought and residential homes turned into business leases, the Venice community seems to face an uncertain future with the rise of gentrification as the cost of living begins to skyrocket, in addition to escalating homelessness and mental health issues prevalent on the streets.
Lang shared, “Mostly everyday I will walk from 11 a.m. to noon and photograph the boardwalk and find that’s the lucky hour 11:11 as I always get my best photos then. Venice has its long standing characters including ‘The Tree Man’ who comes to the beach as a different tree and claims his mother is Mother nature and his father is King Poseidon. Musician Harry Perry has been a staple on the beach who is known for inline skating and strumming a electric guitar with a smile on his face. Others don’t last that long and generally they will disappear after 2-4 weeks as the allure of earning a few bucks a day having your photo taken loses its appeal realizing Venice Beach isn’t for the weak at heart.”
He added, “I have photographed on the boardwalk on and off since 2010 but the last year I have tried to spend at least 3 days on the boardwalk every week. I have noticed a general shift in the boardwalk especially since Google and Snapchat have moved in on Venice Beach and that homelessness and mental health problem has escalated dramatically in the last year.”
In other photography news, you can now put Kevin Cummins’ iconic band photos all over your wall.
- Photography: Robert Lang