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'Homeless In Hollywood' Exhibition By Steven Berkoff

Stuart Fawcett has been along to the 'Homeless In Hollywood' exhibition by British actor Steven Berkoff to take a look at the images and to learn more about Steven's photography.

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Steven Birkoff at his exhibition 'Homeless in Hollywood'

 

Steven Birkoff is a well-known English actor in popular films series such as James Bond, Rambo and Beverly Hills Cop where he plays mean villains; but far beyond that, he’s an accomplished actor in many genres often taking on controversial subjects and roles.

What may be less well known it that he is also a photographer of many years experience and has, for years, had a desire to show the humanity of often overlooked homeless people. This month, he launches his latest exhibition 'Homeless in Hollywood' at Wex in London E1 and Stuart Fawcett went along to the opening night for ePHOTOzine.

 

© Steven Berkoff  from Homeless in Hollywood

© Steven Berkoff from Homeless in Hollywood

 

Steven has actually been a passionate photographer for as long as he's been an actor, starting off as a young man being fascinated by the way the light works with film and then, when he got his first enlarger, how the light would first work with the negatives, then again with the actual film through the enlarger onto the hard paper he preferred for greater print contrast - the management of the developing solution temperature and timings, not too hot, not too cool... not too long and not too short. All of these details delivered with the enthusiasm and presentation of his actor’s voice. He said this gave his life some objective and with the other actors around him he always had lots of customers looking for portfolio prints.

 

'Homeless in Hollywood' opening night

 

The exhibition of over 30 images is predominantly about the stories of the homeless in the Venice beach area of Los Angeles. There is also a video available shot by Steven telling the story of some of these people. He recounts individual amazing stories such as Peno the piano player who each day wheels out his grand piano to play angelic music to the crowds.

Steven said that living in LA was potentially a very lonely existence unless you were part of some group or other. Steven, it seems, found his group recording the lives of the homeless. In this environment, he saw brilliant street artists that only asked for a few dollars and were far better value than some of the performers in more traditional theatre

Steven feels that telling the story of Venice beach in LA cleanses and shows the true soul within that area. The people's raw, scoured faces, genuine laughs, lack of cosmetic surgery & fake tanned faces show how easy it is to fall through the net of society.

 

'Homeless in Hollywood' opening night

 

Although the evening had a serious and thoughtful theme, there was a feeling of friendship and support towards Steven. His guests included photographers Dan Welldon, Tim Walker and Noddy Clark. Some of the actors visiting included Lyn Miller and Terry McGinty. Author Colin MacFarlane also attended the event.

As the evening drew on, the guests relaxed and it almost seemed like a family reunion.

The images were board printed by Fujifilm and the WEX exhibition is open until mid-April. For more information see - Homeless in Hollywood: An exhibition by Steven Berkoff.

Words and many pictures by Stuart Fawcett (jackalltog).

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