I am a native Angeleno, born at Queen of Angeles Hospital. I still reside in the same neighborhood I grew up in. As a young man I “cruised” the streets of LA with my contemporaries; building relationships and enjoying the roads of our hometown. The Hover Cars or Flying P.O.S. is my ongoing discovery of California’s history and its car culture.
The Hover Cars or Flying P.O.S. began one day when I saw a random post of a BMW wagon parked on some unknown dock by a body of water.
I immediately recalled some unknown international artist who had cloned the image of a car, removed the tires, and created the illusion of a hover car. The image was about location and about the vehicle; two of my passions.
Below the image were posted a lot of admiring comments sharing how people felt about the work. The first action I took was to consider how the piece was produced. I thought, “Shit! I could do better than this and it would only take me 10 minutes and a few key strokes.” I began searching for vehicles in odd locations to clone and re-invent. I also investigated my personal catalog of location images that included vehicles that were shot for my commercial work.
I found a few photos that I shot many years earlier but had completely forgotten about. The first image I found, cloned and re-invented was my beat-up 1989 VW Golf shot in 2010 that I made “fly” as a hover craft in 2015. You find the car floating on the helipad in Griffith Park with the iconic LA city skyline behind it; the beat-up vehicle sits in a future time where technology has mastered gravity. Next, the VW flies to its new location in State Historic Park just north of Downtown LA. Finally, our vehicle finds its way to the beachfront at Playa del Rey just south of the airport.
The next car I chose to re-invent was my crappy 1998 Honda Accord shot on location in front of the now defunct El Toro Airport in Irvine. The car hovers over the tarmac at sunset in front of gleaming airplane hangers ready to take off. Next, it flies to Tejon Ranch on the famous LA Grapevine. The Accord goes on to appear as if it is in “mid-flight” flying through space through a blurred landscape.
I was raised in front of a TV set watching cartoons for hours on weekday afternoons, Saturday and Sunday mornings. The Jetsons and Speed Racer were probably the most iconic. All me and my friends ever wanted was a flying car; that was the future.
I always asked questions like, “Why don’t we have this technology already? Why can’t we be in the future now?”
The Hover Cars or Flying P.O.S. have been influenced by contemporary media, fashion, and music concepts like “future-primitive” where I’ve taken an old, primitive vehicle and brought it into a future technology and time; “steam-punk” where a few computer key strokes alter obsolete technological features to transform a vehicle into science fiction; and my personal idea “yester-tech” where my beat up VW flies into the future through imagination and reinvention.
The Hover Cars also known as Flying P.O.S. make people laugh because they are funny. Viewers levitate; elevate, rise, and lift-up along with the cars. Each car has character, the lighting is perfect for shadow placement, and the background reveals something intriguing about the flying car and its narrative location. Each image is a story with a “portrait” of a vehicle that lives in an alternate universe.
My father was an auto mechanic, so I’ve been around cars all my life; always into modifying things, customizing my bicycle and looking forward to owning my first vehicle. When I was thirteen my dad gave me a 1968 VW baby-blue square back. I washed it every other day, drove it up and down the driveway, and took it for joy rides in junior high. Finally, I sold it and used the money to buy my dream car, a 1969 Karman Ghia, same as my birth year. For the next five years I modified my Ghia only driving it for one year because my ego was too big to keep it. I even raced a Cholo and his “bug” in my Cypress Park neighborhood and won. During the race he sideswiped me in retaliation and my Ghia was never the same. I patched her up and it was sold and shipped to Japan in 1991. I spend the money on my Art Center photography education. I have no idea if it’s still on the road; probably in a museum or in a dump somewhere.
Although The Hover Cars or Flying P.O.S. appear arbitrary, immediate and frivolous, in the darkroom I am a traditional technician and a purest. My experiences included analog film and darkroom manipulation and traditional printing processes.
The raw digital images are captured with a digital camera. These images are then manipulated and altered in the computer. My goal is take them into the darkroom where I will produce digital color negatives to print 8 x 10 and 20 x 24 traditional RA4 prints by hand.