Josh “Bagel” Klassman, a documentary style photographer from Venice, California, grew up surfing the Venice Breakwater and skating at the Venice Pavilion with friends who became some of the most influential skaters of all time. From the mid 1980’s to the mid 1990’s, an era that was extremely volatile, gritty, dangerous, chaotic, unruly and radical, Bagel captured hundreds of classic surfing, skateboarding, music and graffiti images. Taken from an insider’s perspective and shot on film, many of Bagel’s vintage photos, are now featured on his newly launched website at https://www.jbk.photos
Aaron "Fingers" Murray Venice High Banks. Venice, CA. 1980's. Photo © Josh "Bagel" Klassman
As an avid surfer since age thirteen, Josh “Bagel” Klassman developed his talent early on for documenting the surfing and skateboarding scene. Bagel studied photography at Venice High School, taught and schooled by mentor, Larry Shapiro, who said, “I won’t be teaching you how to use a camera, I’ll be teaching you how to make art with your camera”.
Jef Hartsel. Pole Jam. The H in Team THC. Venice, CA. 1980's. Photo © Josh "Bagel" Klassman
During the summer of 1995, Bagel became roommates with band members of Porno for Pyros. The house they lived in was the famed Shangri-La studio used by the classic rock group, The Band, which appeared in the Martin Scorsese documentary, The Last Waltz. While living there, Bagel got to indulge in his music addiction, by singing back-up vocals on the track “Freeway” for Porno for Pyros’ Good God’s Urge album.
The writing was truly on the wall. Graffiti Art by Brian Zarate Dahlheimer (RIP). Words by Josh "Bagel" Klassman. Venice Breakwater wall, 1989. Photo © Josh "Bagel" Klassman
The friendships that Bagel formed throughout his life led to gigs as stage manager for some of the biggest entertainment clients in the world. Bagel now works on the production of large-scale events and has been a stage manager for the Coachella music festival in California for the last 16 years.
Eric Dressen. Eric D is a beast on a board. Craig "Cavey" Moore sitting on the wall. Venice Pavilion. Venice, CA. 1980's. Photo © Josh "Bagel" Klassman
Bagel’s photography has been featured in numerous galleries and shows, including the prestigious Hou Yee Chan Gallery, the C.A.V.E. Gallery and Ignition Creative, as well as a fundraisers for the Venice Family Clinic. Josh was profiled in “Venice Stories” in The Argonautand his work was featured in the Juice Magazine Surf Skate Style show.
Jesse "The Mess" Martinez. Backyard pool party. Santa Monica, CA. 1994 Photo © Josh "Bagel" Klassman
Klassman’s photography is also featured prominently in the new Made In Venice documentary, which released worldwide in 2016 through Abramorama. Select images by Bagel are now on display at Josiah Citrin’s restaurant, Melisse, on Wilshire Blvd, one of the few two-starred Michelin restaurants in Los Angeles.
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