For over 50 years, Ave’s been taking pictures. Many of his images of Hollywood Boulevard from the 1970s are now in museums and libraries including LACMA and the New York Public Library, amongst others. He has published three books: Art Deco LA, Movie Palaces, and Bijou, which was released in October 2016 by Nazraeli Press.
In the studio, Ave is working on a still-life series based on circles, squares, and triangles, substituting industrial objects like pyramids, bottle caps, Wiffle balls, taking the place of the typical vase of flowers or table setting. Outside the studio, Ave shoots Paper Movies, which are always shot in public spaces and allow him to interact with people passing by, getting them to participate with the camera and background. After collecting hundreds of photos, he edits them to tell a visual story, combining them into a single piece. He’s also producing short, stop-action videos using still images from Paper Movies to promote the series. One of the videos, “Stairway to Heaven,” assembled from images of the Getty Museum Staircase, saw 40,000 views in a week.
Shadows belong to another, unreal world, in between, projected by light like glass projects reflection. I often look for shadows and silhouettes because of this escape from reality to another dimension. I took “Palm, Post and Pole” on a day when I was driving. I saw the shadows on the wall so I pulled over to get the shot. At that time of day, late afternoon, the photo had a wonderful array of shapes and grayscale.
The stark wooden chair frames in the upholstery shop where “Self Portrait” was taken drew my attention. The payoff when I went to investigate was when my shadow appeared in the round frame–immediately suggesting a portrait from an older time. The frame of the window produced a shadow that delineates the two dimensions from one another, two parallel worlds divided by a figureless border.