ALAN KROEBER Muse of Dance, Hollywood Bowl
16"x20" Silver gelatin print
reception for the artist:
Saturday, November 8th, from 4 to 7pm
Alan Kroeber’s photographs present the power of Hollywood’s
urban landscape, a power which deepens with time. The tension between
grit and glamour is caught on black and white film, using a vintage Nikon
F2 camera. His images represent the physical reality of Hollywood, the
city, seeking to evoke its look and feel from the multiple points of view
of a movie buff, a film noir fan, and a resident of the workaday town
where real people still live.
He captures Hollywood’s history and dreams made real in avenues
and buildings and palm trees and the sheen of reflection in plate glass,
with a dark undertone in textured cloudscapes and the poetry of shadows-
The Ennis House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1924, portrayed in
the midst of its recently completed restoration - The fabled corner of
Hollywood and Vine, reflected in the windows of the old Broadway department
store, now converted to luxury housing - Faces of classic movie stars
as they gaze out from publicity portraits onto today’s refracting
boulevard from the windows of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel - The delicacy
of a garden reflected in the window of a Spanish Colonial mansion - Even
the soaring concrete mass of a freeway onramp, seeming to emerge from
the land itself like an ancient icon whose birth is now a mystery.
Like the architecture of the city itself, the images are layered in a
visual archeology, and the interplay among these layers invites the viewer
to remember and dream – by reclaiming history, to become new again.
In these photographs, Hollywood is a place which eternally recreates itself,
where the poignancy and intensity of the past and present are overlaid
on one another, where you feel the creation of the future in every moment.
Born into a family of academics and writers in Berkeley, Alan Kroeber
moved with his family to Eagle Rock at the age of seven where he grew
up and graduated from high school and Occidental College. He has been
a resident of Hollywood for more than sixteen years. Kroeber’s photographs
have been featured in a variety of local venues, including The Mystery
Bookstore in Westwood and The ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood,
and are held in a number of private collections.
are my language of observation, my effort to evoke the world. And all
language is learned from people we know. My father is a retired professor
of history, and his father was a cultural anthropologist. My mother is
an artist whose creations have included hand-made copper-enameled jewelry
and gorgeous weavings. Their ideas showed me how cultures affect one another,
how the actions of an individual or group resonate through time. They
taught me that what we create reminds us of who we are: what we protect
and honor defines us.
Each of these people has influenced how I shoot pictures.
This exhibit is dedicated to them and to Robert Nudelman (1956-2008),
who fought passionately to conserve the physical structure and spiritual
essence of Hollywood. Without his accomplishments many of my images would
not exist, because their subjects would have been destroyed.
“There is a sense in which memory is more persuasive than actuality:
there are times when I see not what is, but rather what used to be. In
Los Angeles, as in all great cities, the past and present are overlaid,
informing one another in an archeology of the spirit. There are layers,
seen and unseen, to every neighborhood, every block in the city. Each
of us inhabits a private reality of interpenetrating memories and dreams,
a realm of reminiscence and possibility where the past has carved the
present as the present is now sculpting the future. This process astonishes
me and opens my heart.”