Waiting, Sitting, Fishing, and Some Automobiles: Los Angeles (Signed)

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Loosestrife Editions, 2007. First edition.
Hardcover with dust jacket, 264 pp., 42 b/w illustrations in gatefold, interleaved with street map quadrangles, 298 x 342 mm. Photographs by Anthony Hernandez. Text by Gerry Badger. Design by John Gossage. 

Signed by the artist on title page

The photographs in this book are drawn from four bodies of work made with the 5' x 7' view camera between 1979 and 1983. Broadly speaking, it shows as Lewis Baltz said, people waiting and taking 'very, very humble recreations.' The four image groups making up the book are people waiting at bus stops, people lunching or sitting in public spaces, people at public fishing areas, and automobile repair shops. There are two primary elements in these photographs. They might be characterized as the visible and the invisible - or the depicted and the inferred. The depicted might be considered the lighter side to Hernandez's imagery - the city itself - the inferred the darker - its social realities. And in this his work mirrors Los Angeles, a city of light and shadow, a city that promotes vigorously an image of sun and Hollywood glamour, yet is arguably the most socially divided city in America, a sunny city with a dark heart at street level.

Anthony Hernandez began to devote his time to photography after serving in the United States Army from 1967-1969. In the summer of 1969, he took a workshop with Lee Friedlander. Hernandez’s work was included in his first museum exhibition and publication, California Photographers, 1970. That same year, he presented a portfolio of images to John Szarkowski, curator of photographs at the Museum of Modern Art, who purchased two photographs for the museum and also introduced him to the photographers Dianne Arbus, Duane Michals, and Garry Winogrand.

Between 1978 and 1983 he continued to make images of prosaic elements of Los Angeles street life and public spaces, but the wider orientation of the view camera resulted in people taking a less prominent place in his pictures while augmenting the presence of the built environment. These pictures represent a fusion of street and landscape photographic traditions and offer energized and animated compositions unusual for view camera work.


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