Los Angeles is a strange, sprawling place. Packed full of micro-villages and movie sets, the city is unlike anywhere else on the planet. It’s where movies get made, and dreams get shattered. It’s where otherworldly artifice collides with harsh reality. It’s also where people – from all over the world, and from all different cultures – come to make a life for themselves.
“LA is an accumulation of microcosmos,” summarises Gianluca Galtrucco. The Italian photographer has been shooting the city’s surreal, Lynchian landscapes for several years now, compiling the results in his latest book, For Your Consideration: Los Angeles as a Cinematic Mirage.
Galtrucco’s images – aptly described in the book’s synopsis as “dream tableaux” – sway between the comedic and dramatic. Huge planes smash into dilapidated film sets, astronauts wander through rivers, and masked men lurk on deserted beaches. Some of the shots are staged, while others are natural (Galtrucco claims that 60 per cent fall into the latter camp).
“I am always scouting and searching for abandoned locations, ghost towns, depleted buildings,” the photographer explains. “I truly enjoy that post-apocalyptic environment. California and Nevada are magical for that. I love that sensation of being in a parallel world, where you can’t get any reception on your phone.”