Wally Skalij, Artist

October 16, 2012

The greatest editorial asset the Los Angeles Times has (and the only good reason to subscribe) is a photographer named Wally Skalij.  The man is nothing less than an artist with a camera.

He first caught my eye (so to speak) with extraordinary sports photos, including one in 2005 of Reggie Bush carrying the football ahead of six would-be UCLA defenders.  It was so captivating, I wrote and asked him if I could buy some prints for framing.  (He accommodated me.)

But he’s just as excellent no matter what his assignment.  Invariably, when I see a photo in the Times that dominates the story it’s meant to illustrate–and would be worth framing–it bears Skalij’s byline.

Consider what you would do if you were a photographer and your editor sent you out to cover the slow movement of the Space Shuttle Endeavour through Los Angeles over the past week, most of the final miles through less fortunate areas of town.  You’d probably shoot them as an expression of your own excitement and amazement at having a parade view of that big friggin’ thing rolling down the street.

In which case, you’d miss this:

Traymond Harris, left, and Ryan Hudge play basketball as the space shuttle Endeavour passes by on Crenshaw Avenue in Inglewood.

That’s not a snapshot.  That’s art–provocative and rich.

Shoot on, Wally.  I’m looking forward to the gallery and museum retrospectives of your work that are already overdue.

(Do yourself a favor and spend some time admiring his work at this Times link.)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ted October 18, 2012 at 6:40 am

This picture speaks volumes on this country’s sad state of education and priorities.

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