by Carolyn Blais
Los Angeles is a curious city—massive in population and geography, but broken down into different areas and neighborhoods like downtown, Hollywood, The Valley, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and the list goes on and on. From the 20th floor penthouse of Sunset Vine Tower, the tallest building in Hollywood, I was able to see the very vastness of this metropolis. From high up, looking out onto the great expanse, LA looks like one, big, glistening glare of brake lights and neon signs extended for miles and miles.
It’s Saturday night around 5:30 and the sun has just set after emerging from rain clouds only an hour earlier. I’ve come to the penthouse-turned exhibit space for a more intimate glimpse into LA through the photographic lens of artist Doug Hac. The show on display is a compilation of photos that Hac has taken over the past five years. To me, the pictures seem quintessentially “LA.” That is to say, as an East-Coaster, I grew up envisioning Los Angeles as a starlit land of bright lights, and colorful people. Many of Hac’s photos confirm this impression as they depict LA’s club-culture and party scene—from hipster raves, to pool parties with bikini clad model-looking types, to pillow fights in mansions in the Hollywood Hills, to punk rock concerts, to Beverly Hills socialite extravaganzas with young, fashion-forward people. I wonder if there is a particular reason why the setting of so many of these pieces is in or around the club scene, and if the artist is trying to convey a certain sentiment. As it turns out, Hac says his philosophy is simply to capture real moments in his life. For the most part, there are no staged photo shoots or pre-thought-out concepts. Instead, the photos yielded are truly candid—snapshots of moments in time in the life of this great photographer. It was in the club, in fact, where Hac’s photography career really began. Five years ago, at a club in Hollywood, Hac was trying out a new camera he bought when people started to offer him money and drinks to take pictures. For Hac, it started as a way to meet new people, and has since become a career which he “eats, sleeps, and breathes.” Although he has put in a lot of hard work and hours, the artist says his success seems like it has come “overnight,” having built momentum through Facebook and word of mouth, he is now presenting his first show ever.
And this is just the beginning for Doug Hac—his work has caught the attention of major corporations wishing to use his pieces for advertising. Such clients include Asahi Beer, Coca-Cola and Lamborghini. Hac has also come to the forefront as a prominent Los Angeles based photographer, having photographed such celebrities as Adrien Brody, Liv Tyler, Bruno Mars, Paris Hilton, Jamie Foxx, Usher and Spike Lee. Many of these celebrity pictures will be featured in Hac’s upcoming book “HOLLYWOOD | 2005-2010.”
Doug Hac is a testament to all aspiring photographers that in today’s technological world, a creative, talented eye, and a little social networking can often lead to unbounded success. There seems to be no telling where Hac’s amazing photos may take him next. From the 20th floor of Sunset Vine Tower, overlooking one of the greatest cities in the world, I’m guessing he’s already on his way to the top.
WHAT: Doug Hac Private Sunset & Vine Gallery Showing
WHERE: Sunset and Vine Tower, 1480 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90028
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, November 20th and 21st
WEBSITES: http://doughac.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/DOUGHACCOM