Star Struck: Ave Pildas
Tufenkian Fine Arts is pleased to present, Star Struck, a solo exhibition of photographs by Los Angeles-based artist Ave Pildas. The exhibition, which coincides with the recent publication of a book of the same title, will be on view from November 12th through December 23rd, 2022 with a book signing by the artist to be held on Saturday, December 3rd from 3:00 to 6:00 PM.
In 1958, the Hollywood Walk of Fame was created as a tribute to artists working in the entertainment industry. The Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,500 five-pointed stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks, immortalized with names of entertainers. Attracted to the location soon after he arrived in Los Angeles, Pildas began to document with his camera the characters that strutted down theses blocks: the bit actors, hippies, hookers, and long-time residents of the neighborhood. Pildas remembers that Hollywood Boulevard was “on the turn: a bit derelict but full of life.”
Ave Pildas’ photographs from Hollywood Boulevard in the 1970s turns the everyday sidewalk into a grand stage for his subjects. Pildas made these photographs in one of the most iconic spots in Los Angeles during a time (between 1972 and 1975) when Hollywood had more of a neighborhood feel and a raucous diversity was the norm. In these works, Pildas documents the bit actors, derelicts, hookers, and ordinary passersby that populated the famed boulevard.
The title of the exhibition plays on the notions of fame and stardom so often associated with Hollywood. Pildas captures both the eternal mystique of Hollywood and the ephemeral charm of his unlikely models. These photographs were shelved for forty years till a reporter who had seen then in the ‘70s contacted Pildas in 2013 to post some on line.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ave Pildas worked early in his career as a photo stringer for Downbeat Magazine in the Ohio Valley and Pennsylvania in the 1960’s. In 1971 Pildas began working as the Art Director at Capitol Records in Hollywood and designed and photographed album covers for the label's recording artists. He launched a career as a freelance photographer and designer soon after, specializing in architectural and corporate photography.
Ave Pildas’ photographs have been included in solo presentations at: The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Photographers Gallery, London, Janus Gallery, Los Angeles, Gallerie Diaframma, Milan, Cannon Gallery, Amsterdam, Gallerie 38, Zurich. The artists photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Bibliotheca National, Paris; the University of Arizona as well as numerous other public and private collections. Pildas is a Professor Emeritus at Otis College of Design.