His photographs are everywhere and his work is iconic. Throughout the past couple of decades, Art Streiber has cemented himself as one of Hollywood’s go-to photographers, seamlessly transitioning from buzzy magazine covers (including Leonardo DiCaprio for The Hollywood Reporter), classic movie posters (Steve Carrell’s goofy mug for The 40 Year-Old Virgin), and eye-catching advertisements (campaigns for Lincoln and Revlon), all while continuing to stay both vibrant and relevant after multiple decades in the business. “I’m constantly inspired,” Streiber explains from his office in West Los Angeles. “I stay fresh by constantly absorbing what’s out there and feeding my eyes. I’m attracted to all different lighting looks and color pallets. I don’t want to be boxed in as the guy who shoots a certain way; I want to continue to surprise.”
Perhaps it’s then no surprise that Streiber’s become one of the most esteemed photographers to cover the annual Academy Awards ceremony, capturing a multitude of the show’s backstage glitz and glamour and hobnobbing with the hottest stars in the land. “Working the Oscars® is both fun and nerve-wracking,” Streiber explains of the telecast which takes place this year on February 28th from Hollywood’s Dolby Theater. “I’m like a kid in a candy store. There are constants, but there are also variables and curveballs.”
It’s Streiber’s vast collection of Oscar® shots that make up his show Oscars® Revealed, kicking off at Smashbox Studios on February 4th and stretching until the telecast at the end of the month. However, what’s not on display are candid shots of celebrities in their natural habitat. Instead the focus of the show is of Oscar® himself. “The point of the collection is that I love the statue itself,” Streiber says, citing how iconic the look of the trophy is. “He’s regal, he’s got his bearing, he’s holding a sword, his shoulders are thrown back, and he’s just a badass. Regardless of the situation in which he finds himself, he always looks like same. I’m fascinated by this.The imagery of the Oscar® is ubiquitous come the big night, whether he’s being clutched by a recent winner or being polished by a crew member. Out of all of the photos in the collection, one stands out to Streiber.
“Road Closed. This picture to me says so much. First of all, it’s the first time I ventured to the corner of Hollywood and Highland just to see what that’s like out there. There’s a 25 foot tall Oscar® towering over Hollywood. The red carpet is there. This picture says so much about the show’s status in Los Angeles. As Hollywood has changed, the Oscar® has stayed the same,” he points out. “Katherine Hepburn’s Academy Award looks just like Cate Blanchett’s Academy Award. This ceremony, and the award itself, has been so important to this industry and town after 86 years and counting.”
During this year’s show as Chris Rock is delivering his monologue and another round of awards are being doled out, you can bet Streiber will be backstage snapping away once again. “Over the years I’ve seen the room and the energy in the room change based on the producers or the host,” he explains, alluding to the drama around equality that’s the topic of conversation surrounding this year’s ceremony. Whatever the tension, Streiber will be there to capture it. “I’m looking forward to it, I’m nervous about it, I’m excited about it. There are new challenges every year, so it’s just like any other ceremony… but completely different.”