Bones & Skin
Photographs by Gil Garcetti
Walt Disney Concert Hall
January 4 – February 11, 2006
The Valley Institute of Visual Art featured a comprehensive exhibition of Gil Garcetti's photographs from his two best-selling books, Iron and Frozen Music. The photographs chronicle the building of the Walt Disney Concert Hall from its basic bare bones structure to the magnificent architectural wonder that now graces Downtown Los Angeles. Mr. Garcetti’s work is powerful, poetic and inspirational. His quick eye and lens have captured the beauty of the Hall as well as the concentrated effort of the dozens of iron workers that brought the vision of architect Frank Gehry to life. Although Mr. Garcetti has been on a photographic journey for well over 35 years, he feels that these remarkable images are the ones that catapulted him into full-time photography.
Click on the images below of the gallery to see a larger version.
In Gil Garcetti’s words:
“I knew that when the building was completed in October 2003, its architect, Frank Gehry, and his partners, would receive much deserved credit for designing such a stunning and successful concert hall. But I also knew that the ironworkers, who made Frank Gehry’s concept a reality, would be forgotten. When the first concert-goers enter the hall, they will not see the bones, veins, muscle, and tissue that make up this building. They will not appreciate that the swooping, curved and angled walls, columns, skylights, and ceiling panels are there because, somehow, ironworkers were able to hang, bolt, and weld the steel that made this possible. They will not realize that each of the 12,500 pieces of primary steel, ranging in size from 13 inches to 110 feet, and weighing up to 165,000 pounds, is unique and individually created, shaped or angled for its respective architectural or structural purpose.
“Whenever I was at the construction site, I would notice the number of people on the street looking at the building with awe, disbelief, admiration, and occasionally, dismissal. I talked with some of these people and invariably they would ask about the ‘wonderful,’ ‘far out,’ ‘extreme,’ ‘crazy,’ or ‘indecipherable’ architecture. But they would also marvel about the ironworkers. ‘They’re incredible!’ ‘How do they do it?’ ‘What they’re doing is impossible!’ ‘They’re crazy. Someone is going to get killed.’ Ironworkers are passionate about their jobs and their union. As ironworkers, they believe they are special. Greg Knutson, the general contractor’s project superintendent agrees: ‘They have earned the pride they display. They are always the first ones on the project. They have the most dangerous jobs and they have done great work.’ My respect for ironworkers increased when I learned about the role many of them were playing in the aftermath of 9-11. From all over the nation, ironworkers left their jobs to volunteer with the rescue efforts in New York City...
“For thirty-two years I was a member of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. During those thirty-two years, beginning with the birth of my daughter, I have been an active photographer. Urban photography has been my passion. This project relates to that discipline, but it also combines three other passions of mine: people, music, and architecture.”