JOHN DIVOLA (b. 1949, Los Angeles) is a contemporary visual artist. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Divola works in photography, describing himself as exploring the landscape by looking for the edge between the abstract and the specific.
In “Zuma” project, he has described being interested in the relation between real artworks and representations of them, and the issues of the natural and the artificial. Divola said “I attempted … to develop a practice in which there could be no distinction between the document and the original.”
In his series of photographs from 1977, he used deserted houses on Zuma Beach and covered their walls in graffiti photograph the ocean from the house’s interior through windows and cracks. Divola states: “On initially arriving I would move through the house looking for areas or situations to photograph. If nothing seemed to interest me I would move things around or do some spray painting. The painting was done in much the same way that one might doodle on a piece of paper. At that point I would return to the camera and explore what ever new potentials existed.”
These cyclical images skillfully juxtapose romantic skies and sunsets with a seaside structure that, frame by frame, deteriorates into ruin as it is vandalized by the artist and others who eventually set it on fire”. Divola works trace a schematic desire for escape, movement and transcendence.