Skid Row LA, A Photo Book: Exhibition and Book Launch

Please join us on Thursday, 8 October, at 6:00 pm for an exhibition and book launch.

The Row, A Photo Book: Exhibition and Book Launch
Curator: Désirée van Hoek
Opening:  Thursday, 8 October, 6:00 pm
Continuing:  8–25 October

Dutch photographer Désirée van Hoek spent six years documenting Skid Row (2008-2014). Trying to capture the humanity of the neigborhood, she started photographing the inhabitants with their dwellings, possessions and clothes. One of the inspirations for her series was a study by professor Larry Zimmerman (University of Indianapolis) about the ‘material culture’ of homeless people. According to Zimmerman, personal items are very important for people’s identity. ‘Nobody can live without “stuff”.’

To give a sense of place, she also photographed the streets, buildings ands structures in the area. Many of these show the decay of the neighbourhood, others hint at the recent gentrification of Downtown.  Another theme is the relationship between the public and the private. Because homeless people have no personal or private spaces that they can call their own, denial of access to public space robs them of a location for basic human function.

Ms. Van Hoek will also be presenting her book Skid Row LA, designed by Mevis and Van Deursen (, and with an introduction by Gale Holland, Skid Row reporter of the LA Times.

Désirée van Hoek (Roosendaal, 1966) was educated at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She started out as a fashion photographer, working with both Dutch and international designers. She published in magazines like Style and the Family Tunes (Germany), Elle (Holland), Surface Magazine (US), Monitor Magazine (Russia), and Modem (France).

In the last decade, she switched to documentary photography, focusing on human living conditions, architecture, public space, interiors and material culture.

This exhibition is supported with grants by The Netherland-America foundation, The Dutch Consulate in New York, and the Dutch Tijlfonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, and with in-kind support from the Julius Shulman Institute.

Selected Press and Information
LA Times
KCRW’s Frances Anderton – 5 Design Things To Do This Week
LA Observed


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Posted in 2015, Past

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