In 2014 I had my first solo show in the U.S. – at De Re Gallery in West Hollywood – and spent five weeks in L.A.
Among the gallery’s neighbours were the brasserie Craig’s, a celebrity hangout, and the ultra-cool concept store Maxfield. In a sense this was the perfect introduction to life in L.A., but in the following weeks I experienced simpler things that make the place so alluring. The abundance of gorgeous light. Watching the sun set directly into the ocean. The glimpse of a palm tree set against that blue sky.
On my second night in L.A., I found myself at a house party in the Hollywood Hills. Parties in L.A. have a unique atmosphere and, clichéd as it is, I couldn’t help but remember the type of imagery conveyed in books like Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero.
In a city notorious for long drives and heavy traffic, staying active is a conscious effort. Runyon Canyon is one of the popular hiking spots in the city. I walked there one evening with an old friend from London who's living in L.A. Apart from the exercise, the incredible views were a bonus.
One of my most memorable experiences came right at the end of my trip when another friend, an L.A.-native, initiated me into the mysterious aura of Mulholland Drive, the 21-mile stretch of road in the Santa Monica Mountains with some of the best views of the city. At dusk we pulled over and watched as the lights of the city below us flickered to life.
- Cyrus Mahboubian