Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably seen Timothy White’s iconic photographs — think Brad Pitt riding motorcycles in the desert or a young Guns N’ Roses’ on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1988. White built his career as one of the most sought-after music photographers in New York City, then began traveling to L.A. in the mid-1980s to expand his celebrity clientele. Since then, he’s photographed everyone “from Audrey Hepburn to Miley Cyrus.”
Timothy was filmed at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, Morrison Hotel Gallery, and Sunset Boulevard.
In West Hollywood, he moved into the Sunset Marquis Hotel — a legendary celebrity haunt — to open the L.A. outpost of Morrison Hotel Gallery, the NYC-based gallery he co-owns. White has remained a black-clad fixture in West Hollywood ever since, enamored by the city’s place in pop culture history, by its neon-lit corners, by the grit beneath the glamor. “West Hollywood, even way back, always had a little bit of a wild side to it,” he says.
“In the 1930s and ’40s, the Sunset Strip was all of these nightclubs, the upper-class of Hollywood and the stars. And then youth culture happened in the mid-’60 … The Whisky a Go Go opened, the Roxy, all of these rock ‘n’ roll clubs, and all of these bands emerged from that.”
“[The Sunset Marquis] is just off the Strip, yet it’s an oasis … This hotel, it’s about rock ‘n’ roll. It’s about that history. It’s about something that is really unique to this area of town and to the United States.”
“Photography is an illusion. Photography is not the truth. Photography is my truth. It’s my opinion. It’s a moment that captured the essence of a particular musician or a particular film actor that, in my mind, is not just a strong picture, but also really represents who they are.”
- The Belmont. “I just did a french fry tour of West Hollywood. I got together with somebody on a Saturday and I took them to five different places for french fries. For those who don’t know, The Belmont on La Cienega has the best french fries ever.”
- West Hollywood Hotels. “I love the hotels. I’m a hotel guy. I always have been. I like the feeling of them. They’re all so unique and they all have such personality.”
- Restaurants in West Hollywood. “There are amazing restaurants in this town, we’re known for it. On any given night I’m at Craig’s, or I’m at the Polo Lounge [in Beverly Hills], I’m here at the Sunset Marquis. Whatever the vibe, there’s something going on every single night somewhere, so that’s exciting.”
- Hollywood Hills. “I always take people up to the [Hollywood] Hills, to some of the special places. Vito’s Pizza on La Cienega, or the special restaurants and parks.”
Listen to an in-depth conversation with Timothy White on our Creators Podcast.
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