Monday, July 27, 2009

Shots of Old Time Billboards on Display at Gary Leonard's Take My Picture

Local photographer Gary Leonard has been chronicling the people of Los Angeles for decades. Now, the photog has opened up a gallery in downtown Los Angeles to show off some of that work, and showcase others.

Take My Picture Gallery -- the name is based on the title of his long-running alt weekly photo feature, "Take My Picture" -- is currently showcasing the exhibition "The Billboard Show: Selling to SoCal Lifestyle."

The photos consist of billboards in Los Angeles, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s, and are remarkable for what is and isn't included in these ads. It's a must-see for anyone fascinated by mid-century Los Angeles, mid-century advertising... and well, the mid-century in general. You can almost image the Mad Men-style folks who came up with these larger-than-life advertising messages.

We stopped by Take My Picture on a Saturday afternoon, and were the only people there. The friendly folks there (including Gary himself) took the time to show us around and screen a slide show of even more prints from his collection.

Now, a few shots:

A "Valley News" section in the Los Angeles Times? Wow, this really is ancient history!

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