This project was an on-going documentation of an address, a celebration of a home, studio and laboratory. Justin lived at 1619 SILVERLAKE BLVD for just over a year with artist NOUEL RIEL; who appears in most of these photographs.
Justin documented this time through 35mm photographs, polaroids, iPhone images, journal entires, poetry, and made a VHS short film where Nouel played various characters. These characters she mentioned “would visit her from the walls - while painting - taking over her body, mind and spirit” We brought these characters to life and gave them a voice.
This time was a transformative moment in Justin’s life, because up until then he lived on the road, from a suitcase, hopping from one house to the other; with no place to call home. This house was the first time he forced himself to stay under one roof; as an investigation. At first this stillness was painful, but over time he became at peace with it.
Before he moved in, the house was used as an artist residency for sculptors, writers and painters who would create work and exhibit in the front yard. In the 1970’s, the house was used as an energetic landmark / safe place for gay men to come create. Its previous owner [apart of Harvey Milk movement] was a 7ft man, dressed in drag and roamed the hills of Silverlake.
You know that saying “if the walls could talk”, he felt that even more in this house because not only did they talk; they changed his work, and forever shaped his journey.