Larry Gentry

Martin: "I love that hat."

Larry: "That's my son's."

M: "Pretty stylin'. Where are you from?"

L: "Cincinnati, Ohio."

M: "My wife is from Cleveland."

L: "Oh, just up the road, that's nice."

M: "Yeah. I don't mind Ohio. Everybody makes fun of it, but it's really pretty in the summer."

L: "That's right."

M: "You've been on the street for a while?"

L: "About three months."

M: "What happened?"

L: "Well, what story is I was working as a nurse and what happened was I was afflicted with cancer. And it gets up to my kidneys. So at that point I had to drop everything I was doing. I'm on a machine Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 5am in the morning for three hours, 'till 8:30am. And I get a needle in the stomach twice a week."

M: "You don't need an operation or chemotherapy?"

L: "This is chemo. It's a needle form. But this type of cancer is not extensive. You know what I mean?"

M: "It won't spread?"

L: "Yeah. They hit it before it got worse."

M: "And then the chemo. Does it make you sick?"

L: "No, no. I'm up and ready to go. I drink a cup of coffee and call it a day."

M: "You're living and feeling good?"

L: "Always. That's the key, right?"

M: "How long did you work as a nurse?"

L: "For twenty-one years."

M: "Did you like it?"

L: "I loved it. I liked the people, doing what I can, sharing, giving the little love that I can give, encouraging people to feel better and go forth, you can do better in your life and make it better, you know what I mean? Just live."
© 2024 Martin Schoeller


On the street corner of Sycamore and Romaine in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Martin photographed the homeless throughout 2015 for Hollywood Food Coalition (formerly known as the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition), which was co-founded by friends Ted and Penny Landreth. The coalition provides many services, but notably, they have been serving hot meals made from scratch every single day for over thirty years. Through partnering with the Hollywood Food Coalition, Martin photographed and interviewed over three hundred individuals.

“Most of the people in this series are clients of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. I wanted to give them a face and a voice. The interviews are recorded on my phone and then transcribed. Sometimes it’s a five-minute exchange, other times it’s over an hour - it all depends on how much somebody wants to share with me. The interviews were then condensed to fit the Instagram format, as this series was shared on the platform. Editing is always subjective, but I try to present these interviews as authentically as possible, using only direct quotes from our conversation.

I am very grateful for everyone’s trust and time.”
– Martin Schoeller

For more portraits and stories, please visit Martin’s Instagram here.