• 11.3-17&22-26.8 Couchsurfer Giovanni Del Brenna – Hosted

    Giovanni Del Brenna - Venice Beach, CAGiovanni Del Brenna – Venice Beach, CA

     

    When I went crying aloud out to some of my closest friends – “Giovanni is a better photographer than me” I meant that in so many fundamental ways.

    Giovanni Del Brenna came to Los Angeles for a few weeks to finalize his “City” photography project. He started it some years ago already having done the other typical cities around the world. Hosting him actually required me to put on the heaviest of all thinking caps. What I had to consider were 1. What IS the essence of Los Angeles, 2. What are the visual representations?,  3. What are the daily strategies in ‘covering’ this massive city, 4. How am I going to cover him while he’s covering the city?, and 5. How can we not kill each other for having to be in such close proximity in so many days?

    As usual, I winged it for my part. The rest I just rode along with his schedule, whichever he decided upon. Watching his process was just incredible for me. It’s hard to explain. He’s like me but opposite? We notice the similar things – shapes, forms, functions, lights, situations – but we may frame them differently. His approach is much more direct and definite. The finalization process was even more prominently different. He decisively allocated shot rolls of film, or image files to specific destinations and purposes. He… was a model of a functional photographer. Also, to note, he has ALL my dream cameras – the professional ones – Leica, Xpan, D3, completely ready for any unexpected assignments of any forms. Needless to say, I learned so much.

    We ended up all over the place around mostly locally known landmarks. He actually did introduce me to The Ring in Santa Monica (apparently it’s world famous – a local spot I was entirely ignorant of.) I took him to some of my pre-planned events of a TFA fight, which we co-shot, and catching my favorite standup comedian Doug Stanhope one night. He got to meet all of my favorite friends, the fight girls at that TFA, Mike Watt when he joined for a radio recording in San Pedro, Nels Cline when he played a duo gig with David Sarno in Downtown LA….

    We got along really well, surprising for the strong headed photo persons that we each are. Gio, I think, ended up looking after my interest a bit. When I had 2 other couchsurfers come stay and share the space, I noticed him being a little protective, mildly questioning if it was my best interest to help out everyone. But there was one occasion he might have went too far – that was when he tried to explained to me the logic of Rubik’s Cube. At that point, I had to call him on it — Mr. former mechanical engineer turned photographer that he was…

    Parting with him after about a month (he went to Las Vegas for a week in between when I went to San Francisco) was a little sad. This is one down side of ‘couchsurfing’ is that inevitable departure of the new friend. Surely what I should focus on that little new marker on a map where Metz is in France, where Gio and his family live. Glancing at the global map with increase warmth of the imagined friendly human person residing in another part of the world, does give one the optimism of how the world can somehow become one through friendship networking.

     

    Gio on election day, LA, CA

    Gio on election day - Downtown LA, CA

    Gio reviews images at the Democrat official party, Century City, CA

    Gio reviews images at the Democrat official party, Century City, CA

    Gio in the mix

    Gio in the mix

    Gio at TWFPS - San Pedro, CA

    Gio at TWFPS - San Pedro, CA

    Gio watches Doug Stanhope after show

    Gio watches Doug Stanhope after show

    Gio at the driver seat

    Gio at the driver seat

    Gio and fellow couchsurfer Chris

    Gio and fellow couchsurfer Chris


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