The first exhibition of Linda Troeller’s photographs from her Schiffer book, “Living in the Chelsea Hotel” shot on her M-3 with new images shot on a Leica Q debuts at Leica Gallery, Los Angeles.
The Chelsea Hotel has been an international meeting place where artists learned from each other and made contacts. There was always something going on – a film shoot by Milos Forman; Andy Warhol shot his movie, “Chelsea Girls,” in and around the El Quijote Restaurant; Christo sawed off his bathroom doorknob and incorporated it into an artwork now in the collection of the Hirshorn Museum- events that just didn’t happen in most other apartment buildings but at the 1884 Gothic landmark. It has 10 floors and about 400 rooms, designed by the firm of Hubert, Pirrson & Company. Plaques eulogize luminaries in the front facade.
The Chelsea Hotel has been closed to guests since 2011 when the photographer faced eviction and moved out after too many legal battles in 2013 before suffering further dust illness from persistent renovations from the ruthless landlord not following proper construction protections. Her activism since includes speaking at “Amsterdam Nights” where the Lloyd Hotel created a ‘Chelsea Hotel Room’ with her photographs for guests to focus on the value of this iconic place. She says, “Cities need more multi level housing price ranges and multi age communities to keep this generation’s history alive and form new ideas. We can’t live in the virtual social media world without human, personal contact and this hotel provided such interaction.”
The Gallery Manager, Paris Chong, along with edit guidance to Troeller from Deirdre Finzer-Read, O Magazine editor, highlight a narrative on the power of compelling atmosphere and focus especially on the life of residents who made the long haul toward reopening in 2020. Finzer-Read says of her own love of the hotel where she spent her engagement night, “artsy, unique, weird, high ceilings, cracking paint and a defunct fireplace, everything I loved at the time. I recall opening the desk drawer and etched graffiti of past guests’ initials covered the wood entirely — similar to when couples engrave their initials into a tree. In that moment, in that time, it charmed me.”
Troeller’s photographs bring attention to the creative DNA there that progresses onward. Longtime current resident, Man-Laï, photographed in a sweeping environmental portrait in her room raised twin daughters and cultivated an event planning business in the Hotel. Her favorite Chinese saying: “Life is too serious to be taken seriously.” She will offer memories at the noon lecture on Oct 27th and attend the opening reception. Former resident, Victor Brockris, who wrote the book’s introduction points out that, “Linda Troeller found the light inside the body of the Chelsea Hotel.”
Linda Troeller is a master photographer with projects and books that explore health, sexuality and self-portraiture, including Healing Waters, Aperture; Erotic Lives of Women, Scalo that were created while living in the Hotel. She won 1st place in Pictures of the Year and a book award from International Photo Awards.
Her photographs are part of the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including UC Riverside; Library of Congress; George Eastman House; Haverford College; Syracuse University, and are featured in many publications such as The New York Times, Marie Claire, and European Photography. She has been represented by Vu, Paris. She taught photography at Otis, LA; Parson’s, Stockton University, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and lectured at Yale, Griffin Museum, Photo-Nola among other festivals.
Linda Troeller : Living in the Chelsea Hotel
October 21- December 2, 2019
Vernissage October 24, 2019, 6pm-9pm
Lecture/book signing Sunday, Oct. 27 10am-12pm
Leica Gallery Los Angeles
8783 Beverly Boulevard
West Hollywood CA 90048