Wednesday, March 19, 2014


by Drew Martin
Five years ago I started a neighborhood art project called UNDER THE HOOD, which uses photography to capture the faces of the people who live and work around museums, galleries, and other cultural meeting places such as libraries. I started in my neighborhood as an extension to a makeshift home gallery, and then continued in Los Angeles, Prague, and New York. The hosts for the Los Angeles shoot, Anne Hars and Bill Wheelock of The Thinkery, really helped defined the project by turning it into a happening. We agreed I would take the pictures in the morning, and show them in the afternoon for the neighbors to take home.

Before I embarked on a trip to the West Coast last month, the couple invited me to reshoot their neighborhood. I planned to visit them but had not considered another shoot, which was hard to resist after they planted the seed. Bill later mused, "You know what this means, don't you? You have to come back every few years to takes pictures here."

UNDER THE HOOD Los Angeles 2014
took place on February 17. On the previous trip I had my two-year-old son in a backpack for the shoot. This time my 15-year-old daughter, Olympia, traveled with me. We started shooting during our morning run around Silver Lake and then joined Anne and Bill in the Echo Park area to walk their streets and to photograph their immediate neighbors. We took 200 pictures: I shot black and white film, and Olympia took a number of digital color pictures. The photographs were developed/printed midday and then they were displayed in the late afternoon on clotheslines outside The Thinkery for passersby and the people in the photographs to take home.

In the diptych on the left is a picture Olympia took of me as we helped one of the neighbors bring her groceries home. The picture on the right is of Olympia checking out the show.

Click here to flip through an e-book of select pictures from the show (but don't buy it because Blurb charges and arm and a leg)
Posted here are even more photographs than in the book: