The town of Covina, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles hosts the Renaissance Pleasure Faire once a year. Photographer Harry Israelson had driven passed a billboard advertising the event for a number of years and finally got round to making the trip. “What I love so much about living in Los Angeles is that it’s still a city of sun-baked eccentrics; fandom is encouraged and the nerd still very much has a place,” says Harry.
This good-natured series, titled For Pleasure has been created to “celebrate those who simply don’t care what anyone thinks.” Harry has captured knights in shining armour and sleepy maidens at picnic benches, but its the jarring juxtapositions between the old (or fictional) and new that provide the real moments of magic.
“As I made my way through the parking lot towards the entrance, I began to notice festival-goers puling on gauntlets and lacing up corsets; a Knight fishing his helmet out of the back of a banged up Honda Civic. The intersection between these mundane modern realities and the escapism of the past quickly emerged as my guiding theme for the day,” explains the photographer. “So much care is put into separating the fair from the modern world, yet here was a squire on a Samsung Galaxy 7 (yes the exploding one). Once inside the Fair grounds, I came across a whole community of people, unabashedly being themselves, celebrating their idiosyncrasies, not specific to any one genre. There were wizards, pirates, Elizabethan duchesses, Celtic warriors, Commedia Dell’arte and one or two aliens. Although it felt like I was one of the only attendees without costume, I was still welcomed with the proverbial, ‘Good day, Sire.’”
- The frustration of crazy golf embodied by student animation collective Megacomputeur
- Enormous 20ft Barbies and bluebottles in real-life locations, by photographer Michael John Hunter
- French animator Jon Boutin's quick-witted shorts will have you creasing
- The MIT Technology Review design team share their love of printed matter
- Gemma Mahoney, a graphic design student producing professional work
- By designers, for designers: Monotype’s font subscription service
- BBC’s new typeface BBC Reith is designed to improve legibility on screen
- Life through the lens of enchanting photographer Vicki King
- The New York Times Magazine’s new cover is actually a painting
- Illustrator Ram Han’s Alice in Wonderland dreamscape
- Ikea uses ASMR technology in 25-minute, tingle inducing advert
- Designs of the Year 2017 shortlist includes Wolfgang Tillmans’ Remain campaign, the Refugee flag and Me & EU