May 3rd, 2012
When I was on my way to meet the jewelerymaker Lou Zeldis, I didn’t know what to expect. Somebody had said he was very interesting looking. On the phone I only heard a voice with an accent I couldn’t quite determine, but we set up a meeting for one sunny January day in Santa Monica. Lou looked nothing like I had expected, and he was just the greatest and most interesting person to be around.
He grew up all around the world, from Santa Monica to Japan and spent a lot of time in Bali, his heart home.
We finished the interview at the time and I didn’t come to talk to Lou for another 6 months. And that was for bad news. Shortly after our meeting he had seen a doctor who had determined he had lungcancer. He was in the middle of celltreatments, but it was looking up.
We made plans to meet 2 months later to photograph him in his new state, well on his way to recovery. This is how he looked then.
Here he is, telling me about cutting his hair like Siddhartha.
He was doing great, and was mostly fascinated by how he’d lost his eyelashes and the tears would run. We emailed again a little bit ago, we were planning on re-visiting this and photographing him as his hair grew out. But today I received news he has passed. It makes me so incredibly sad, but I’m so glad I got to meet him.
This is a clip I took out of my archives where we’re talking about the culture of death in Western culture as opposed to Bali.
May your soul forever be in your heart-home, Lou.