On the Sidelines

Online Gallery of Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography

Anthony Hernandez has devoted his career to examining the landscape of his native Los Angeles. In the late 1970s, Hernandez started using a large format camera to capture a detailed and panoramic view of people in their milieu. His Public Transit Series explores the daily life of urban commuters who rely on public transportation in a region that is dependent on cars. Would-be passengers wait suspended in time for a bus that, it seems, will never arrive. These serial and repetitive photographs—each includes a wide street with no bus in sight—emphasize the perpetual nature of waiting. People stand or sit, separated from the open road, a symbol of physical and social mobility. Hernandez’s subdued approach reveals the impact of Los Angeles’s car culture on inner city residents.

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