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United States

Jim McHugh

Let's Get Lost

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As the entertainment capitol of the world, Los Angeles has captured the imagination of millions and lured thousands more with the promise of fame and fortune. But there is another Los Angeles – a city of dashed hopes and broken dreams overshadowed by the klieg lights of Hollywood. It is the city of Raymond Chandler, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Wells and other iconoclasts who saw a place infinitely more complex than a collection of studio sets, tinsel, and glitter. 

Acclaimed photographer Jim McHugh has artfully recorded this now faded Los Angeles in Let’s Get Lost – a traveling photographic exhibit of beautiful photographic prints that evoke the heady days of the 1930s and 1940s. The Deco- Moderne apartment buildings and hotels, studios and historic landmarks that all make up Let’s Get Lost tell of those who came with dreams of stardom and fame; sometimes achieved often not. The fading glamour of these architectural dowagers recalls a vanished moment in time when Hollywood’s stars were larger-than-life.

Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
Jim McHugh
PLAY: Jim McHugh - Artist Studio Visit
Let’s Get Lost also features programmatic architecture that gives Los Angeles such a unique flavor. Iconic images of Randy’s Donuts, The Dog & Cat Hospital, and Felix Chevrolet bring to life a city built on a naïve idealism that characterized the times. Art critic for The New York Times, Joseph Giovannini, wrote the following of McHugh’s work: “He sees through his lens darkly and evocatively, capturing a noir Los Angeles saturated with light, and dawn, and it monumentalizes LA by treating buildings, even signs that create a city of stature...His eye chooses to see a more heroic Los Angles, when the buildings and the signs were the larger-than- life stars of a city...when Wilshire Boulevard was a mile of miracles.”

Let’s Get Lost, however, is far more than journey to the “forgotten side” of Hollywood: It is a record of places torn down in the name of progress. The famed Coconut Grove, Perino’s Super Club; the arabesque lines of the exotic Beverly Theater; the Ambassador Hotel, home to the city’s transient population of well heeled fortune seekers – these are just a few of the places McHugh’s lens has recorded that no longer exist.
And so, Let’s Get Lost is far more than a vivid account of a colorful time past. In many cases McHugh’s photographs are the final images preserving that which has been lost by a city marching to modernity. Los Angeles has captured the imagination of millions because it is the entertainment capital of the world. Let’s Get Lost will enchant thousands more with its portrayal of a city.
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