British born photographer Tim Street-Porter visited Los Angeles in the early 1970s and fell in love. Over the past three decades Street-Porter (born 1939) has photographed the city's modernist architecture, often working with the same homes photographed by Julius Shulman. His fascination with the way people live began as a child when he stood before a building of flats bombed during the war. "It was like looking into a doll's house."
The luscious quality of Los Angeles' natural light most attracted Street-Porter to Los Angeles. To this day, rather than using a digital camera, he photographs on film for its matchless superiority in capturing nuances of color and light. "The light here really is equivalent to the light in the Mediterranean and in North Africa that attracted Klee, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Matisse," he explains, calling it "a radiant quality." From the distinguished residential architecture of such master designers as Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Rudolf Schindler, and Richard Meier to beaches, gaudy street signs, freeways, and vernacular buildings, Street-Porter describes his adopted home as "a vast residential theme park. . . a bewildering range of styles and fantasies, pretensions and idealistic visions."
In his latest monograph, LA Modern, published in 2008, Street-Porter, an eloquent writer as well as renowned photographer, celebrates the birthplace of American modernism.