Being people who love Los Angeles, we end up with so much Los Angeles focused stuff. People we know give us stuff, strangers send us stuff, family gift us stuff–and all stuff about Los Angeles. It’s not a bad problem to have but we do end up losing things in the shuffle. While cleaning this past weekend, we happened upon the above book: Imposters by James Knoblauch.
The book is one of the handful of books within the very specific sub-genre of narratives and photo essays surrounding the street performers of Hollywood and Highland, these very strange and curious people who dress up everyday to look almost–but not exactly–like popular culture figures. The book is not particularly new, released in 2007 by the author through Mark Batty Publisher. It features commentary by Shawna Kenney and actually was all instigated by our buddy Roger Gastman, which we did not realize until a photo of him popped up at the back of the book.
There are about fifty people/characters portrayed in the book, shot in their space with a little blurb about them, their work, their history, and–for some–what they really do for a living in addition to portraying these characters (a lot are “screenwriters,” actually). The range of characters is also quite mixed, touching obvious ones like Jack Sparrow, The Hulk, and Captain America in addition to more niche ones like Legolas, Mae West, and Krusty The Clown. A lot of the performers don’t seem to be active anymore or at least have had big costume changes, something we know from living not too far from them.
Imposters is a fun little book and would make a great gift for anyone who is intrigued by pop culture, loves Los Angeles, or just loves playing dress up. Catch a few of the portraits below and pick up the book here.