5-16-23 to 5-17-23
Assorted Images Posted as Stories and Single Posts and a few extras
East Los Angeles Gang El Hoyo Maravilla (1983)
In 1983, British photographer Janette Beckman was in Los Angeles documenting the burgeoning West Coast punk scene. Browsing through the LA Weekly, she became fascinated with an article about El Hoyo Maravilla (HM), a Mexican American street gang based in East LA. “There were no photos to illustrate the story,” Beckman recalls. “After reading the article in the LA Weekly I tracked the writer down and persuaded him to take me to the ‘Hoyo Maravilla Park’ and introduce me… I just wanted to document the East LA culture and style. It was a part of Los Angeles that no one seemed to acknowledge. Back in the day, before the internet, if you thought of LA it was Hollywood, the movies, Beverly Hills, and the music scene.”
Bad To The Bone! Portraits Of Vintage Female Pro Wrestling
When I moved to Georgia as a youngster, I got turned on to wrestling and all of the characters that made up the sport. What I did not see a lot of at the time were women wrestlers. Don’t get it twisted – women have been brawling for decades. If you don’t believe me, check out all of these rad vintage photos of women wrestlers kicking ass. If you are living in the UK, there is a show up called WOMEN OF WRESTLING at the Doomed Gallery in Dalston.
Rennie Ellis and the decadent '80s
A new collection of photographs by Rennie Ellis captures the excess of the '80s and '90s. 'Decadent' documents the seedier side of life in an Australia that had not yet seen anti-binge drinking or skin cancer awareness campaigns.
Was Australian social culture more freewheeling and outrageous in the ‘80s and ‘90s? It’s often said that life now is a lot more conservative than it was just a couple of decades ago.
Perhaps some hard evidence can be found in a new book of photographs by late Melbourne photographer Rennie Ellis. Called Decadent, the selection of images taken between 1980 and 2000 captures the the wilder side of life at the end of the twentieth century.
When Ellis died from a brain haemorrhage in 2003 at the age of 62 he left behind a priceless legacy: hundreds of thousands of photographs documenting the lives and lifestyles of ordinary and extraordinary Australians.
‘Between 1980 and the end of the twentieth century, Rennie Ellis documented what were, in retrospect, seismic changes in Australia,’ writes fellow photographer Robert McFarlane in his foreword.
Ellis captured a brief period of ‘behavioural candour’ in Australian society.
‘It could easily be argued that we have retreated into a more modest, conservative Australia since these pictures were made.’
The images were taken in public locations: beaches, pubs, sporting events and in the demimonde of Melbourne’s nightclubs and strip clubs.
William Yang describes Ellis as a ‘good perv’ who was charming and non-judgmental. While Yang, also a noted and prolific photographer, was documenting Sydney’s social scene—from celebrities to sub-cultures of the gay community—he met Ellis and the two became friends. They shared a passion for capturing the era’s exuberance in their respective cities.
‘[There was] a feeling of liberation and freedom; a collective social euphoria where people threw off the shackles of polite society,’ says Yang.
‘That window of social history where "anything goes"—all those parties and of excess, the fun, the defiance and the sex, both flaunted and actual—had closed.’
Manuela Furci, director of the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive and Ellis’ former assistant, says that he was obsessive about taking photos.
‘What I loved about Rennie, apart from his child-like curiosity, was that he treated everyone with respect ... he just loved stories.’
What Decadent captures, Furci believes, is a mood that existed before skin cancer awareness campaigns, when smoking and drinking alcohol were seen as a guilty pleasures. In the earlier years, the dreadful gravity of the HIV/AIDs epidemic was not fully comprehended.
It was also before social media, when risqué behaviour and dress did not come with the fear of becoming an unwitting Facebook sensation.
‘People felt a lot freer in expressing themselves ... they felt less inhibited,’ Furci says.
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