Welcome to L.A.


Every year, thousands of ambitious people move to L.A. hoping to make their mark. We gathered a few of our favorites in one of the city’s most famous home.

In the process of selling its films to the world, Hollywood has sold the world on itself. As long as they’ve been here, filmmakers have pointed their cameras at a city that promises laidback living and global fame, and audiences have responded by flocking to the beachside city like seagulls to an unattended sandwich, hoping to make a place for themselves in the world at the same time as they escape from it. Some of them succeed, others readjust their original metrics of success, still others simply disappear into their gyms, succumbing to the inertia of yoga and pressed juice. Thousands of transplants never make it through their first summer. We invited a group of some of the more tenacious newcomers to the Garcia House—architect John Lautner’s mid-century-modern masterpiece on Mulholland Drive—to talk about their mixed experiences of the City of Angels.

Photographed by Eric van den Brulle  |  Styled by Alison Brooks

Photograph Eric van den Brulle

LEFT TO RIGHT: British sculptor
CARL HOPGOOD makes “digital taxidermy” out of film and neon. He did a pop-up installation at the Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood in June, and has created work for Project Runway. | Actor CHRIS GEORGE, from Atlanta, is a personal trainer to Hollywood executives, writers, and producers. He’s the grandson of actor Christopher George. “Los Angeles is the best worst city in the
world, and I don’t see myself living anywhere else,” says George. | Canadian musician LILA ROSE has had her music included in television shows like So You Think You Can Dance,
The Royals, and The Fosters. | Artist MIQDAD is a painter from Ethiopia. | British venture capitalist RACHEL SPRINGATE founded L.A.’s Muse Capital, which connects startups with Hollywood.

Photograph Eric van den Brulle

Actor ULATO SAM, from Kingston, Jamaica, is a graduate student at UCLA.
“L.A. reminds me a whole lot of Jamaica,” Sam says, “in the sense that in Jamaica, everything can sorta be done tomorrow.
You say, ‘Ya man, I’ll soon get to it, it’s notta problem.’”

Dancer/actors FACUNDO AND MARTIN LOMBARD, from Buenos Aires, first came to international prominence in Step Up 3D and Step Up All In. “There are things more beautiful thanbusiness. You can always learn something, share life stories, get advice, win a smile, fall in love, or just have a nice moment. And there are many people who are not looking for that, unfortunately. That really turns us off, but above all, it makes us sad.”

Photograph Eric van den Brulle

LEFT TO RIGHT: Artist CYRUS HOWLETT, from Fresno, CA, trained as a classical artist before turning to street art; he’s preparing for a solo show at the Gabba Gallery in early 2018. | Australian motion-capture performer/dancer DANI SWAN is the lead performer in the upcoming sci-fi TV show Cerulean by
Matrix-designer and graphic novelist Tani Kunitake. | Italian tango dancer/choreographer GUILLERMO DE FAZIO was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to perform at the Ringling International Arts Festival. Director/screenwriter MARTIN KANDRA, from Spisske Vlachy, Slovakia, made his screenwriting and directorial debut last year with his film Karol’s Message. Martin says his favorite spot in Los Angeles is “Venice Beach, because the lifeguard towers make it feel like Baywatch.

Photograph Eric van den Brulle

British singer-songwriter JOHNNY ASHBY has just
released a new single
called “Flowers in July.” “I originally wanted to take a road trip to Chicago,” Ashby says.
“Got distracted by L.A. and stayed here.

Photograph Eric van den Brulle

GREGORY BAUMGARTNER, from Baltimore, is the executive pastry chef at 71 Above, a new restaurant in downtown L.A. Baumgartner was named one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30.” | Architect HEIDAR SADEKI, from New York City, recently completed major apartment towers in Hong Kong and Miami. | Director GRACIE OTTO, from Sydney, was nominated for an Australian Oscar for The Last Impresario.

Directed by Meriam Braanaas | Producer Villani Productions                                                                   Grooming and hair Sarah Huggins using LA MER; Makeup by Victor Salazar using Laura Mercier Special Thanks to John McIIwee and Bill Damaschke

GARCIA HOUSE (LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, 1962 )Though there were many modernist geniuses designing houses in post-war Los Angeles, John Lautner, a Michigan-native and protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, cornered the market on drama. His houses have been in Bond movies and Tom Ford’s A Single Man. It was built for composer Russell Garcia in 1962, but John McIlwee and Bill Damaschke bought it in 2002 and embarked on a historically correct renovation. The eye-shaped pool is brand new, built from Lautner’s unrealized plans

About The Author

Richard Villani is the Photo Director of FourTwoNine.

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