Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Alias the self made Indian (Street Portraits)

Update: Read here how Alias got his own photographs:


Alias is watching people at “the Ave” (University Avenue in Seattle) since 1971. I was sitting with him there for more than a day. All the Indian stuff he is wearing was made by himself.
The reason I shot that black and white of him is that he loves b&w photos. He showed me an old photo of Sitting Bull (he is his favorite) and he told me about his favorite horse race Appaloosa. 
He told me stories about when a bookstore and a bank was robbed close to his place. Also, a friend got knifed here.
The post office behind him will be his castle sometimes after they close it and then they gonna bury him there… 
He has a cell phone, where a friend stole the battery. Anyway, he is just using the SD card from the phone for his mp3 player 🙂 When I was sitting there, I plugged in my iPhone to his speakers and we listened to London Grammar.
He told me stories about when he was young and tried LSD once: “after sleeping for 20 hours, I still saw crocodiles on the sky, fishes on the ground and people looked like hobbits to me, today nobody could handle that in their heads” 
He told me one sentence I will never forget:”Everything comes and is in yourself. Also God” 
There were some guys on the street playing magic (I took a photo series of them too), the girl there has a dog with only three legs, he calls him tripod 🙂 
A woman passed by, he knew her and we started talking. She knows Yoko Ono and then we talked a bit about this topic. 
Also, Eva joined us there for a while, they know each other pretty well. And Alias knew what to say to make fun of her.
I went with her to a store to get cigarettes and a coke, even I had the feeling they know each other pretty well, there was not .much trust…..  
Looks like people like Alias and Eva are getting free food from the Hare Krishna people and the end of University Ave  
Sitting there for a long time with these guys, I saw a lot of stranger passing by. One of them looked at him and said “Yea!”. Alias was looking at me and started to smile. 
I think the truth of life is different to everybody of us. Alias taught me lot and the time sitting with him there were one of the most pleasant time of my life. 
I’m sure he is sitting still there right now and I’m gonna find a way to send him his own black and white image. 

Check more photos here: 

Eva and Alias
The Stick

Posted by Markus on November 20th, 2014 | Filed in preparation | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Alias the self made Indian (Street Portraits)”

  1. June 13th, 2015 at 07:34

    Markus Hofstaetter's blog » The self made Indian (Alias) got his photograhs said:

    […] in Seattle and sat with him two days on the street, Click the Link to read the full story:   Here the selfie with Alias and met that got explored on Flickr […]

  2. February 6th, 2019 at 17:16

    EMULSIVE interview #196: I am Markus Hofstaetter and this is why I shoot film | EMULSIVE said:

    […] Normally I choose black and white film only when color makes no sense for me. This time I chose it because he likes it and it fits his story. He carries a black and white photograph of Sitting Bull with him and after I came back to Austria I managed to send him his own picture, so now he owns one of himself too. You can read more about him on my blog. […]

  3. December 10th, 2019 at 20:01

    Markus Hofstaetter's blog » Street Portraits Part 1 said:

    […] Alias (Elias) Story: […]

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