Black and White

Architecture & Interiors

Darkness and light—both literal and metaphorical—are the twin elements that inform the ravishing back and white photographs in Whitewash, a clothbound homage to southern California architecture by Nicholas Alan Cope. “Searching for the sublime core of the city’s true nature,” Cope, like many a transplanted Californian before him, has found creative solace under the glare of Los Angeles’ blinding sun, and in the flat roofs and geometric volumes of L.A.’s modernist buildings.

For Cope, L.A.’s architecture—bleached, exposed, at once brilliant and foreboding, casting shadows of cinematic splendor—becomes an expression of the city’s co-existing, diametrically opposing narratives. “LA is a city of contrasts—the famous and unknown, blinding light and impenetrable shadow, wealth and poverty, massive success and bitter failure.” In Whitewash, he shows us a city of stark blacks and whites; and in so doing, sheds a sliver of light on L.A’s “uniquely conflicted soul.”

From Whitewash by Nicholas Alan Cope, published by powerHouse Books

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