Julius Shulman is rightfully legendary for his architectural photography, but as he slides well into his 90s he's getting more known for his irascibility. I'd heard that at last Saturday's Cinerama Dome panel discussion of the new photo book Looking at Los Angeles, which includes his photos, Shulman shocked the audience with his raw reactions. Now the downtown blog 5th and Spring has the report. While everyone else praised the compilation co-edited by Ben Stiller, Shulman drew gasps by muttering "I think this book is crap."
After an awkward question softballed to another panelist to break the mood, Stiller tried levity and offered, "Julius, let me thank you for your ringing endorsement of this book." To which the master replied (per the blog): "This book is crud...What is wrong with these people? That's your favorite picture?...Yech, that's crap."
Yeah, I'm thinking it will be a while before the L.A. Conservancy invites Shulman to another event. (The book proceeds go to the Conservancy.) Stiller, I'm told, left before the book signing.