Riviera: Photographs of Palm Springs by John Brian King

Riviera: Photographs of Palm Springs by John Brian King

Riviera documents the eerie fragments of existence left behind in one city. John Brian King photographed Riviera from 2016 to 2018 in Palm Springs, California, and its surroundings; a full-time resident at the time, he used a cheap instant film camera to give his photographs a unique, washed-out, hazy aesthetic. King depicts a city that is frozen in a visually arresting state of decline, cataloguing the totems of an absurd civilization.

“I wanted to photograph the Palm Springs that I lived in and interacted with every single day,” King writes, “the beautiful, the mundane, the ugly, the hot desolate nature of Coachella Valley. I wasn’t interested in the tourism-board view of Palm Springs, of martinis by the swimming pool and candy-colored, Instagram-ready desert art installations. I was interested in the debris – architectural and natural – left behind by generations of people who lived in or visited Palm Springs to escape, to exist, to die.”


Available June 10, 2020, from spurleditions.com

112 pages (99 color photographs) • softcover, 21 cm x 19 cm

John Brian King

Born in Los Angeles, California. Graduate of California Institute of the Arts; BFA in art and design, majored in photography.

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 Georges Bataille’s The Trial of Gilles de Rais, Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, and J. Paul de River’s The Sexual Criminal. Participant in the “Autumn Stories” filmmaker residency program at the Royaumont Abbaye & Fondation, co-sponsored by the Writers Guild, the Franco-American Cultural Fund and the Ile de France Film Commission.

Writer, producer and director of the 2014 feature film Redlands. Photography books: LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980–84 (2015) and Nude Reagan (2016).

His latest books: Riviera: Photographs of Palm Springs, which documents the eerie fragments of existence left behind in one city, and Death to the Fascist Insect, a compilation of the writings and transcribed recordings of the Symbionese Liberation Army (1973–75), a radical left-wing group based in the Bay Area of California.