Secret Garden

The ‘Secret Garden’ collection is a series of portraits inspired by the guests and residents of the infamous ‘Garden of Alla’ hotel in Hollywood.

The hotel was a safe haven for closeted stars to express themselves freely in a time when the truth about their own identity could ruin their career or even land them in jail.

The portraits are of those whose sexuality has been guessed, speculated and talked about ever since they came onto the screen, such as silent movie legends Rudolph Valentino and Ramon Novarro and screen goddesses Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. Some took their secrets to the grave; others were more open. Some just liked to make sure they were still talked about.

Like the subject matter, the portraits are multi-layered. Elements of collage, mono-printing, painting and drawing are used, leaving behind haunted faces in a mythical garden.

With his own perspective and technique, the artist uses the images from yesteryear to question our own notions of sexuality, identity and self and wonder what has changed.