LOS ANGELES—Though his day job has him working in the “other” entertainment industry in Hollywood, Ron Veto always kept up with his interest in photography.
For a time, he spent his free hours photographing roadside memorials throughout the Los Angeles area. His still-life photographs would often capture the balloons, flower, homemade signs and more that loved ones and friends left at crash scenes and the like.
“Many times I would see people there grieving, and after a while it jut started to wear on me,” Veto said. “I decided I had to do something else.”
It was then he decided to photograph something silly, something fun. He ended up purchasing a blow-up doll that he nicknamed Plastic Fantastic that he kept stored in his car until he came upon the perfect places to photograph her.
“I would just drive around and see someplace cool and decide to photograph the doll in that setting,” he said. “It was just for fun. I wanted to photograph it like Gumby on bicycles, or at the store. Just unexpected and unique places.”
Veto said before he knew it, he had dozens of photographs, but no real outlet to display them.
“I started organizing them, and decided I could tell a real story with them,” he said. “I plotted out the adventures of Plastic Fantastic Does the City of Angels, took a few more photographs to fill in the gaps, and reverse engineered the entire book.”
Plastic Fantastic Does the City of Angels is a 104-page book that features Veto’s photography of the doll complete with a story. The tale is told from the perspective of an “astrophysicist,” who explains at the beginning, “‘Plastic Fantastic’ became the center of my solar system. An exploding supernova, creating this heavenly body more beautiful than the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy. My angel and my vixen. I saw the oncoming cataclysm, yet raced naked, full steam into the apocalypse. This is our story.”
From there, we meet Plastic Fantastic, who just never seemed to fit in with the other plastic dolls; she looked and acted different, and eventually decided to strike out on her own to chase her dreams in Hollywood and Los Angeles.
The book take readers on a whimsical adventure through Tinseltown and the City of Angels, and has twists and turns associated with life in the fast lane, broken dreams, broken hearts and redemption.
“It all really is a Hollywood fairy tale with a true ‘happy ending,’” Veto jokes.
Emblazoned with a warning that the book is “For children 18 years of age and older,” Plastic Fantastic Does the City of Angels is currently available for $20.95 on Amazon.com. Veto is looking for distribution to adult retails chains and boutiques.
For more information, or for retailers interested in stocking Plastic Fanstastic Does the City of Angels, email Veto at [email protected].
More of Veto’s photography work will be featured in a two-person exhibit titled “India, Asia—People, Places and Good Karma.” The exhibit opens Thursday, March 23, at The Perfect Exposure Gallery, 1125 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019, just south of Wilshire Boulevard in Hancock Park.