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Folk and art

December 23, 2007|Kristina Lindgren

THERE is iconic Los Angeles -- palm-lined boulevards, Spanish-style bungalows, downtown skyscrapers, City Hall, the Griffith Observatory with the Hollywood Hills as backdrop. But it is the connective tissue of our sprawling metropolis that concerns photographer Anthony Hernandez in his riveting new book "Waiting, Sitting, Fishing, and Some Automobiles: (Los Angeles, Photographs Of)" (Loosestrife Editions: 264 pp., $125).

A pioneer of social landscape photography, the East L.A.-born artist documents bus stops on battered streets lined with low-slung buildings, car graveyards, fishing holes and makeshift lunch spots in public spaces. At the center of each striking image are people, mostly poor and of color, who reflect their time (late 1970s, early 1980s) and place (downtown L.A., Long Beach, Fontana, San Dimas, Ventura).

There is a youth sporting an Afro sitting at a weed-choked Playa del Rey bus stop near Dockweiler State Beach and an Orange County surfer hitchhiking from the comfort of a bus bench on Pacific Coast Highway. Latinos wait at the busy nexus of Sunset and Griffith Park boulevards and angle for catfish at South El Monte's Legg Lake.

Hernandez unblinkingly captures those in whose hearts the real Southern California beats and struggles each day.

-- Kristina Lindgren

kris.lindgren@latimes.com

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