We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexo Wandael and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexo, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
Most of my reading is poetry and I have always loved that art form. Narrative-wise instead one of my fav books of all time is a book that I had the pleasure of reading a couple of times when I was very young: Dersu Uzala, the little man of the big prairies. It is a story about friendship and exploration of the wilderness of Eastern Siberia. Dersu Uzala is a Nanai hunter and trapper hired as guide by Vladimir Arsenyev, a Russian military surveyor. The book is an autobiographical memoir of the Russian explorer covering his trips of 1902, 1906 and 1907 in remote portions of Siberia. It is described as a romantic hymn to nature and human spirit and I could not find better words. For sure the impact on me was deep (one of the few books I have read a couple of times) and planted the seed for my future motorcycle wanderings and my love for nature. And Akira Kurosawa won the Academy Award for best International film in 1976. Book and movie are both magnificent! 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
2020 was a crazy year and 2021 is not going to change much.

I was lucky to have finished shooting my second film in February before the “American so called lockdown” started.  So I kept busy in 2020 working on the post production of my film “Tomato Soup in Skid Row” which is a journey in the heart of LA (Skid Row) to try to understand the systemic failure causing homelessness in such a magnitude.

Obviously the new situation required and it is still requiring a lot of time, we are just now in the last part of the Coloring. But 2020 saw also my first short film “To my Pink Lady” in memory of my friend Cristina, receiving many nominations and a couple of great Awards. And the making of  that short film thought me to never give up no matter what and so after 2 years of work, 3 screenplays and a beautiful collection of set backs I managed to bring my dream to life. And recently I shot Maye Musk for Vanity Fair Italia, a great editorial and video of an amazing 72 years old model, dear friend of mine and amazing human being with 7 decades of adventures and incredible stories.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Funny question during the pandemic ; )

I guess a lot of walking around, hikes in the Santa Monica mountains, some surf in Malibu and some good old chats with a glass of wine outside. I would probably show them around LA to explore the vast diversity of the city’s landscape… From glamorous Beverly Hills to “war zone” Skid Row, from beach towns on the Coast to skyscrapers in Downtown.  From the Griffith Observatory on Mount Hollywood to the Watts Towers of Sabato Rodia in South Central. LA is a universe of hidden gems and famous icons. If we have time a trip to the desert would be a must but one week often is not enough to explore everything.
They will have to come back!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well the list is so long that I don’t think we have enough space here… To say the name of one, a dozen, would not make justice to all others. But I am sure we could all agree that I could start with my grandmother Wanda, as she acted as my father and mother, and then a really long heroic list of friends, teachers, professors, fellow students and a sea of colleagues. All my careers, architecture, fashion photography and now film directing, thought me that alone you can not do anything on a certain level. At the end it is always a huge never ending collaboration and I had the fortune to work with really amazing artists in my life. So my big and grateful Shoutout is dedicated to all of them… And I mean All of them ; )

Website: http://www.alexowandael.com
Instagram: wandael73
Linkedin: alexo wandael
Twitter: alexo wandael
Facebook: alexo wandael
Yelp: ?
Youtube: vimeo ; ) baby
Other: http://www.wandael.com http://www.italiany.us

Image Credits
Alexo & Treeman, Mike Chat, Kt Tunstall & Alex Thomas, Tiiu Kuik, Katy Perry & Jennifer Missoni, Laura Osnes + Joan Quinn.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.