Known best by his stage name, Moby, Richard Melville Hall has been turning heads with his photojournalistic blog, Moby Los Angeles Architecture, in which he exposes the architectural landscape of L.A.
As we’ve noted before, the singer/songwriter, who has sold over 20 million albums worldwide with his electronic-style music, has set out to curate a collection of the strange and beautiful architecture he sees in L.A. His most recent visits have included the Never Built Los Angeles exhibit at the Architecture and Design Museum, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and the iconic Lovell House designed and built by Richard Neutra.
In California Home+Design’s Winter 2013 issue, the multi-faceted artist discusses how LA’s somewhat “accidental beauty” has the power to inspire and in what ways the city compares to other metropolis areas around the world.
Below are a few of Moby’s answers. For the full interview, go here.
Why is the city’s architectural hodgepodge so appealing to you?
I grew up very poor in a wealthy Connecticut town. I was the only child of a painter in a town populated by stockbrokers. My friends have always been, artists, writers or just weirdos. Convention has always seemed really boring to me; I’ve never understood why people adhere to it so religiously. After all, human beings are weird. And the human condition is strange. I’d like to think art, music, literature, and architecture represent the idiosyncrasies of being human.
How does your own Hollywood Hills abode fit into the patchwork?
My house is unique and complicated. The main house looks like a Normandy castle with turrets—a very tiny version of a chateau in the Loire Valley. I don’t mean that pretentiously. The guesthouse was designed in 1962 by John Lautner to fit in with the original castle motif, but inside, it’s a perfect little midcentury house.
Compared with that of other metropolises, LA’s architectural heritage is relatively young. Does that diminish its credibility?
The architecture in, say, New York, Rome, Saint Petersburg or London was built hundreds or even thousands of years ago. The architecture in LA was built more recently by people who, on some level, we can relate to. I am a musician, and I live in a house that was built 86 years ago by L. Milton Wolf, an artist and set director. I can relate to that. The footprints of the architectural forefathers of Rome, Istanbul or London were petrified centuries ago, but the footprints of the people who came before us in LA are still fresh.