Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Maandag 19 oktober 2009



X-rays in Melrose Place

Van mensen als Jonathan S. Brown zouden er meer mogen bestaan. De eigenaar van de vintage/rare bookshop LeadApron is een brok energie, vol verhalen en ideeën. Hij leidt me door zijn nieuwe winkel aan Melrose Place waar hij zelfs over een tweede pand beschikt om tentoonstellingen te organiseren. Inzoverre ik nu een idee heb van Los Angeles is dit bij verre één van de mooiste en chiqueste winkelstraten die ik gezien heb. Hoe krijgt iemand dat voor elkaar die pas 4 jaar met boeken bezig is?

Begonnen als filosofiestudent werkte Jonathan een tijd lang als neuroloog onder leiding van Olivier Sachs. Daarnaast regisseerde hij theaterstukken en ging ook nog even aan de slag als architect. Vond kunst- en boekdealers altijd al erg romantisch en besloot met 500 dollar op zak de gok te wagen. “Op een avond besloot ik voor het slapen gaan de grootste boekdealer van Californië te worden”, en zo geschiedde.
Zo herontdekte Jonathan het werk van jaren '70 soft porno (fetish) fotograaf Eric Krull: http://www.leadapron.net/sex_objects/index.html, en kocht alle prints aan. Richard Prince kocht er 15 en liet zich door de meisjes inspireren voor zijn laatste tentoonstelling eind vorig jaar in de Gagosian Gallery: http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/2008-11-08_richard-prince/

Ook het verhaal achter de naam van de winkel spreekt tot de verbeelding. De officiële uitleg staat op zijn website, de officieuze luidt als volgt: een leadapron is een beschermingsschort die je omkrijgt als je een X-Ray moet laten maken, om de vitale organen te beschermen. Of beter, fluisterde Jonathan met twinkelogen, de voortplantingsorganen... Die organen die voortplanten, creëren, en die van elk mens een kustenaar maken. Onder deze naam opereerde hij ook in de theaterwereld.

Deze afspraak was niet gepland, ik had zelfs nog nooit van de winkel gehoord. Maar zoals dat hier gaat, was ik een uur daarvoor bij Stephen Cohen van de gelijknamige galerie, die naast zijn fotogalerie initiatiefnemer was van L.A. Photo 19 jaar geleden. Stephen noemde zijn naam, nam de telefoon en belde op op te zeggen dat ik onderweg was naar de winkel…Zo makkelijk kan het dus gaan!

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