One afternoon in 1975, a young photographer named Hugh Holland drove up Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles and encountered skateboarders carving up the drainage ditches along the side of the canyon. Immediately transfixed by their grace and athleticism, he knew he had found an amazing subject. Although not a skateboarder himself, for the next three years Holland never tired of documenting skateboarders surfing the streets of Los Angeles, parts of the San Fernando Valley, Venice Beach, and as far away as San Francisco and Baja California, Mexico. During the mid-1970s, Southern California was experiencing a serious drought, leaving an abundance of empty swimming pools available for trespassing skateboarders to practice their tricks. From these suburban backyard haunts to the asphalt streets that connected them, this was the place that created the legendary Dogtown and Z-Boys skateboarders. Indigenous to Southern California, these rebellious, daring, and highly skilled kids were at the forefront of this burgeoning sub-culture. The resulting photographs live on today in this exciting book, LOCALS ONLY, a beautifully designed, large-format photography book featuring some of the most quintessential images ever made during the earliest days of skateboard culture. With their requisite bleached blonde hair, tanned bodies, tube socks and Vans, these young outsiders are masterfully captured against a sometimes harsh but always sunny Southern California landscape. LOCALS ONLY features more than 120 large-format color images plus a Q+A format interview with the artist.
Hugh Holland began photographing skateboarders in southern California in 1975. His series of skateboard photographs was first shown at M+B Gallery in Los Angeles in 2006. Following the success of the show, his work has been shown in Paris and New York City, and fashion trendsetters such as American Apparel have used Holland's skateboarding images in their publicity campaigns. Holland resides in San Francisco, California.