Global Yodel caught up with LA photographer JonPaul Douglass to learn more about his hilarious Pizza in the Wild series. Read on to learn about JonPaul's quest for "Ninja Turtle Pizza," and why he goes around putting pizzas on everything in the first place.
Tell us about your Pizza in the Wild series. One day I was walking in my neighborhood and I passed a wall that was always covered in new graffiti. This particular time the wall had a simple monotone pattern and someone had tagged a pepperoni pizza right in the center of it. I thought it was very humorous and I snapped a photo. I was so tickled by that image I thought it would be even more humorous to put real pizzas on things and photograph them.
Do you use real pizzas? I do. In the beginning I wanted what I called "Ninja Turtle Pizza," which is a pizza that looks like one from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons. Yet I found that most pizzas these days do not look like that. It took me a couple of weeks but I finally decided that Little Caesars' pizza was the closest to "Ninja Turtle Pizza" I was going to get. This was fortunate for me because a large Little Caesars pizza is only $5 a pie.
How many have you gone through, and what do you do with those glorious pizzas afterwards? I haven't gone through as many pizzas as one might think. I would guess 20 pizzas at most. Most of the time I will pick up two pizzas. After I run around town photographing them I will put them in my fridge in case I get another opportunity. If you look at the series you can see that some pizzas are fresh and some look to be days old. This works because some situations call for a floppy pizza and some call for a stiff pizza. I also must admit that there have been times when a used pizza gets eaten anyhow, it's tough to ride around with a freshly baked pizza and not be tempted.
Place you live? Los Angeles, California
Can you sum up Los Angeles? I live right outside of downtown LA in an area called Echo Park. My home is up on a hill that overlooks the LA skyline as well as Dodger stadium. My neighborhood is home to many peacocks that are very entertaining to watch. Echo Park is quite the eclectic area. It's centrally located, making it a great jumping off point for traveling within LA.
If someone was visiting, what must they do? I think Los Angeles is a tough city to appreciate in a short visit. It takes a while to really appreciate all that it has to offer because there is such a variety of things to experience. There really is something for every type of person. One of my favorite activities is CicLAvia. This is an event where parts of the city's roads are shut down and taken over by thousands on bicycles. It is surreal to ride around Los Angeles with virtually no cars in sight.
Did you have any idea your #pizzainthewild series would become so popular? Not really. I noticed that people really seemed to respond to pizza in a positive way so I figured it would be liked, but not on the level it has been.
Tell us all the places this series has been featured: Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Instagram, The Daily Beast, ABC news, VICE creators project, COMPLEX, IGNANT, Mashable, AOL news, New York Daily News, The Atlantic Cities, Design Taxi, Yahoo, Daily motion, Hello Giggles, and many more.
Who are three photographers that inspire you?
Gregory Crewdson - I have always been fascinated with Crewdson's work. I love his sort of "un-storytelling" in his photography. He creates scenes but lets the viewer decide what happens. I also like that he has made a career with his art, an inspiration in more ways than one.
Aaron Ruell - I love the humor in his work. Not only in his photography but his commercials as well.
Tim Barber - Pure, raw and always on point. It does't take much for Tim to make something beautiful.
What is your favorite pizza restaurant in LA? Pizzanista! I honestly haven't been to that many, but this one is owned by legendary skateboarder Salman Agah, which gives it added street cred.