Viewfinder: Nicholas Alan Cope's Whitewash
Cover and interior view from Whitewash by Nicholas Alan Cope, published by powerHouse Books, $65, powerhousebooks.com
In his new book, Whitewash, photographer Nicholas Alan Cope assembles seven years’ worth of his work documenting the cityscape of L.A.—not that you’d be able to recognize it as such. His black and white photos of modernist buildings around the city zoom in almost to the point of abstraction on structural shapes and details, stripping away the surrounding streetscape until all that’s left is a giant stucco triangle, an expanse of white tile, or a concrete volume that casts cool geometric shadows back down onto the façade below. L.A. enthusiasts will find few clues as to the identities of these anonymous buildings in the book’s captions, which merely list the neighborhood and year of each shot; if Cope’s dayjob working similar magic on perfume boxes and lipstick cases ever hits a lull, he could always consider hosting walking tours. Then again, the book is a testament to the fact that seen through the right lens, what’s likely to be fairly mundane in real life can appear to be monumental.