The Weary And Harried Travelers Of LAX In The Early 1980s

Photographer John Brian King spoke to Danny Jensen of LAist about what drew him to LAX and what has changed since he took these photos. The interview is accompanied by a slideshow of images from the book. Plus, in even more awesome news, LAX is now available at Skylight Books in Los Feliz.

Looking back on the photos, what has changed about LAX and Los Angeles in general over the years in your opinion?

LAX back then was always in a constant state of controlled anarchy; now it is just controlled, fixed and rigid. Having been to many other airports since I photographed “LAX,” I now try to avoid flying through LAX at all costs; I currently live in Palm Springs, which has a genius open-air airport designed by the noted mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler (who also is the architect of my house).

To me, Los Angeles has become banal, corporate, dysfunctional, and aesthetically inert. When I took the photographs, it was the era of punk rock shows at the Whiskey, “Repo Man” being filmed in my neighborhood, and performance art by Mike Kelley at LACE—an atmosphere that I thrived in.

Available now. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.