Peek in the back of The Masks Of Hollywood Boulevard’s celebrity Impersonators
consult with L.A.’s boulevard characters on their very own turf.
June 10, 2015
while in l. a. working on an assignment in April, Copenhagen-primarily based photographer Ken Hermann turned into excited about Hollywood Boulevard, where impersonators costume up as Hollywood icons and pose with tourists for tips. Passing by means of large cartoon characters, Hollywood superstar appear-alikes, and superheroes, Hermann turned into focused on who these boulevard artists—people who spend so much effort and time imitating someone else—actually are.
that is the premise of his photography series, “Hollywood side road Characters” which presentations the people in the back of the costumes, unmasked and on their own turf. The pix are both intimate and surreal: in one, a person dressed up as Bumblebee, a character from Transformers, sits slumped on his beige living room couch beside a bookshelf stuffed with trophies. In some other, Darth Vader sits stiffly in an outsized chair, flipping via channels within the glow of the television.
“I knew from the start that I didn’t need to shoot them at Hollywood Boulevard,” Hermann says in a phone interview. “They generate income getting their picture taken, however i needed to get faraway from the tourists. i wished to do it more personally from their houses.”
Getting them to comply with be photographed used to be no simple process. For one factor, it’s illegal for street performers to just accept money rather then guidelines, and many are concerned about attracting an excessive amount of attention to themselves in a local riddled with law enforcement officials. Others were reluctant to show their face or even spoil personality, citing professionalism. For the primary few days, Hermann found himself negotiating a photo shoot via a giant Mini Mouse head.
but when Hermann met the Mad Hatter, sometimes called Jason, he knew he had an inside of man. neatly-known and favored alongside the Boulevard, the Hatter introduced him to others who agreed to be photographed and even convey him again to their homes.
Many regard the impersonators as failed actors, people who tried to make it big in Hollywood but couldn’t. some of Hermann’s images seem to beef up that conception—Marilyn Monroe stands alone in a hotel lot, and Captain Boulevard’s homemade costume is smudged with dust. however, Hermann says that a few of them reside out their very own model of the American Dream: two of the characters he photographed simply gained the golf green Card lottery. “The bumblebee is a full-time electrician and likes to do [the impersonations] at night,” Hermann says, “not all of them are fallen stars.”
[All pictures: Ken Hermann]