Disneyland, Anaheim, California, 1983
Step into the magical 1983’s Disneyland as seen by John Brian King.
John Brian King is a photographer, director, writer and film title designer born in Los Angeles, California.
After finishing photographing his ”LAX” series, he pursued „places that had that beautiful mélange of prolonged suffering and enforced happiness” and so Disneyland came to his mind. Being a student at CalArts, an art school founded by Walt Disney, he was able to get a free 90-day pass for Disneyland but he later abandoned the series.
”Unfortunately, repeatedly going to Disneyland prolonged MY suffering – in some ways it was even worse than going weekly to the airport – so I abandoned the series and decided instead to photograph desolate Los Angeles late at night devoid of people (the “LA” series in my book LAX).”
Speaking about his ”LAX” series, John Brian King says: ”I consciously went for an assaultive form of photography — flash, wide-angle lens, hit and run, no permission asked.”
You can somehow sense the same intrusiveness in ”Disneyland” too, but now it feels like people have finally reached their destination and from the moment they arrived, they’re caught in this world where dancing girls, Bugs Bunny, hippos and mesmerized people live well together.
Born in Los Angeles, California. Graduate of California Institute of the Arts: BFA in art and design, majored in photography. Curated the first art exhibition of serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s “clown”paintings and produced the S&M performance “Nailed!,” featuring the late artist and writer Bob Flanagan. Conducted a videotaped interview with murderer Charles Manson at San Quentin Prison (featured in Nikolas Schreck’s documentary Charles Manson Superstar). Designed the film titles for over thirty films, including Boogie Nights, The Ring, and Punch-Drunk Love. Author of the nonfiction book Lustmord: The Writings and Artifacts of Murderers; editor of George Bataille’s The Trial of Gilles de Rais, Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, and J. Paul de River’s The Sexual Criminal. Writer and director of the 2014 indie feature film Redlands. Photographer of books LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980–84 and Nude Reagan. Previously featured on UNCERTAIN Magazine with his series Punk Daze (1977-1983).