Still Life Labor

  • 06/28/2012
  • Terelle Jerricks

Story by Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
Photos by Slobodan Dimitrov

Lazy Dog Studio is presenting the work of several labor photographers, including the work of Slobodan Dimitrov, a labor photographer of international acclaim.

Slobodan embarked on a 20-year project documenting the work, hands and faces of the Piledrivers Union Local 2375 and Local 34. The results of that endeavor are currently housed in the lobby of the Piledrivers Union Local 2375 in Wilmington, Calif.

The portraits that will be exhibited at Lazy Dog Studio are all contemporaneous, taken during a welcome home party for Operations Engineer Leroy “Blacky” Johnson. He had just returned from the hospital from fighting cancer. Two weeks later he died.

Slobodan employs the same PN55 Polaroid film for this shoot as he used when he first began shooting portraits of pile driver members in 1991.

The Piledrivers Union Local 2375 and Operating Engineers both come out of the  AFL-CIO. Slobodan explained to Random Lengths the special bond the Piledrivers union and the Operating Engineers share.

“The Operating Engineers operate the cranes which holds the hammer on top of the piles that’s being driven,” Slobodan explained.

He described their working relationship as being so close that it nearly required the ability to read each other’s minds.

“Its a very special relationship,” Slobodan explained. “[It’s] like the laborers and the cement workers. These are very integrated jobs where they work as crews– crews that work together for decades.”

“It’s a very special relationship, like the laborers and the cement workers,” he said “These are very integrated jobs where they work as crews — crews that work together for decades.”

Also exhibiting work at Lazy Dog Studio is Stephen Mirch, an oil painter, born and raised in San Pedro.  Mirich studied with the noted artist Theodore N. Lukits (1892-1992) at the Lukits Academy of Fine Arts in Los Angeles and took private studies with artist Julian Ritter. Stephen Mirich’s work is included in several prominent collections, including those of the Los Angeles Country Club, San Juan Capistrano Mission, Mrs. Joan Irvine Smith, Jean and Laura Stern and Oprah Winfrey. The January 2010 issue of American Artist Magazine gave Mirich a full feature story titled “Drawing Upon Local Community and Landscape” focusing on his contributions as a marine and landscape artist.

Stephen Mirich is a founding member of the Portuguese Bend Artists Colony, and a lifetime member and past president of the San Pedro Art Association. He is a signature member of the California Art Club, past vice president from 1997 to 2003 and currently a member of its advisory board.

Another photographer, Michelle Meese, will exhibiting work. She specializes in taking photos of life in San Pedro. Her work is often displayed at the Beach City Grill restaurant in downtown San pedro.

Jorge Garcia, a  graphic designer by trade, will be exhibiting mixed media on acrylic.

Gallery hours are from 12 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday,  until the end of July or by appointment.

Details: (310) 293-1332
Lazy Dog Studio
361 W. 7th St., San Pedro

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