Written by By Dawn Tian, CNN Los Angeles
Honoring a milestone birthday? Instead of giving the gift of another celebratory cake, be the first to climb El Capitan, the massive rock formation at Yosemite National Park.
You have a friend and he likes to paint the outside of his house — pick a color you like and paint the exterior in that one! #FoolproofLA 🎂@streetpixla 🎂🎂🎂 @pixaLADuna #PixapixLA A post shared by Street Pix LA (@streetpixla) on Jul 19, 2018 at 7:50pm PDT
That’s just what Lisa Johnston did recently, marking her 70th birthday by climbing the 3,000-foot-tall Yosemite’s most iconic landmark: El Capitan.
As the oldest female climber to do so, Johnston became the only woman in more than 40 years to make it to the top of the legendary rock. The feat was documented on Instagram by Street Pix LA , a company that makes and sells live photos of city landmarks.
Johnston, a British-born artist and performance designer who lives in Los Angeles, has always thought of herself as one of the earliest pioneers of social media and photojournalism. She got her start by posting street art on the Internet and walking her dog around Venice Beach.
“People responded to my work because of the visceral, visceral way I communicate,” Johnston says.
“But it was only when I first started filming videos in 2007 that I started to get the attention of the art world, after street artists noticed that my work was being pushed by a number of them in the contemporary art world.”
Now in her seventies, Johnston wants to express herself through documentary filmmaking and photography. In 2017, she produced a documentary about a Brooklyn former roadie, named Laurie Dell, called “Foolsploitation.”