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Los Angeles

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From the Archives

Los Angeles

A city of compulsions and contradictions, Los Angeles is the home of show biz, the birthplace of hippie culture, the centre of the tech industry, and almost anything else you want it to be. Once described as “72 suburbs in search of a city,” LA is a diverse and dynamic metropolis, and the second-most populous city in the United States of America. Located in a large coastal basin surrounded on three sides by mountains, LA is a vast dreamland, bathed in sunlight and studded with palm trees.

In LA, everyone is a star. The performing arts play a major role in the identity of Los Angeles; where there are more artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers, and musicians than in any other city. It is the ancestral home of the motion picture, with major movie studios like The Walt Disney Company founded there. Hollywood has been home to celebrities of all manner, from classic film stars like Marilyn Monroe to the models who graced the pictures of Bob Mizer. Artists like David LaChapelle have documented that je ne sais quoi that is LA: something between glamour and garishness. Not far from the mansions in Beverly Hills, another distinct LA culture booms: the beach and the great sport of surfing.

TASCHEN’s books on LA include the Portrait of a City publication which collates stunning archival photographs to tell the tale of LA’s history. A number of architects and designers to have made their mark on the landscape of LA feature in the TASCHEN library, with monographs on Richard Meier, John Lautner, Albert Frey, Ray and Charles Eames, Richard Neutra, and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as the Case Study Houses project. TASCHEN’s books on artists like Julius Shulman and David Hockney also capture the pool-side, mid-century modernist aesthetic of LA. For visitors to the city there is the essential NYT 36 Hours, directing you from Mulholland Drive to Venice Beach; Melrose Avenue to Sunset Boulevard.