New book from artist Matthew Frost collects pictures of tourists capturing their own moments in front of the famous sign
Two years ago, on his morning run up the Hollywood Deep Dell, Matthew Frost began taking pictures of tourists capturing their own moments in front of the famous sign.
The Los Angeles film-maker built up a collection: monks in orange robes goofing around; a mother in a onesie; an Irish travel blogger; a bemused park ranger; a barefoot woman with a sweatshirt tied round her neck; four Valley girls on their way to brunch; a Dynamo Moscow fan taking a picture of the teams mascot; a Chinese family in Levis T-shirts; some German guys in blue.
The photographs are now collected in a book, I Saw The Sign, which tells us something about celebrity, something about tourism and something about capturing moments in time.
For Frost, not knowing what hes going to find up at the sign gives his routine a precious sense of the unknown.
People line up to stand on these two rocks that sit in the path, he says. I think its symbolic, because it doesnt really change your perspective. Its funny, because were used to people posing for selfies in front of [the Leaning Tower of] Pisa or the Louvre. These two rocks are so incongruous.
Frosts book is less about the vista of the Hollywood sign than about the universal desire of people wanting to come together, share a moment and create memories.
Hopefully the accumulation of pictures becomes something else, Frost says. Instead of me thinking about my little life on my morning run, I disrupted by seeing people gathered around a rock in front of a sign that has no real meaning other than some folklore of LA.
LA is so much about self-promotion and brand-building but this isnt that, or if it is, its at the most basic level. In these pictures people, I think, want to show their togetherness. Or that, at least, is my intention.