John Divola

John Divola was born in 1949 in Los Angeles, CA. He grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He is known for his photographic portrayal of his hometown Los Angeles and also the landscape surrounding it. Divola’s images capture deserted warehouses, homes, as well as landscapes of Southern California’s beaches. Also, his work presents the stereotypically sunny and bright southern Californian landscape as bleak, arid, melancholic.

Divola is also known for his celebrated photobooks. This includes Three Acts, Continuity, Dogs Chasing My Car In The Desert, as well as Isolated Houses. So, he studied at California State University in 1971. Here, Divola learned about movements like Minimalism, Conceptualism, and Land Art. It was the ephemeral nature of these artworks that inspired Divola to focus on photography, due to its unique ability to capture impermanence. One of his early projects, the Zuma (1977) series, focused on vandalized shelters covered in graffiti on Zuma Beach.

He later received his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1974. His works have been featured at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, LACMA in Los Angeles, and many other museums and galleries. The artist currently lives in Riverside, CA, where he continues to document his native California. He is also a professor of photography at UC Riverside.

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