Many of you may have noticed already: there’s a new art display in the passageway that connects Union Station East to Union Station West. The display, organized by Metro Art, consists of 30 lightboxes installed along the passageway walls and showcases photographic artwork. The first artworks to be featured come just in time for Union Station’s 75th anniversary and celebrate the station as “The Heart of Los Angeles.”
“The Heart of Los Angeles” series introduces 30 photographic artworks created by five artists: Suzanne Adelman, Sam Comen, Kevin McCollister, Jim McHugh and Catherine Opie. Each artist contributed six photographs that relate to the station’s architectural heritage, transit usage, cultural significance and its physical and social relationship to neighboring communities.
Keep reading after the jump for more on the artists.
Suzanne Adelman’s work highlights the beauty of the station’s outdoor spaces and natural assets, recognizing that busy commuters and travelers may overlook them in the hustle to catch a train or bus. She hopes the imagery will coax the traveler outside, to relax and refresh themselves or at least temporarily transport them to a more tranquil state of mind.
Sam Comen explores the character of historically significant sites by shooting environmental portraits of the people who live and work in these locales. Using an upward gaze and crisp, hyper-real lighting, he casts the everyday people he has encountered at Union Station as heroic, with the goal of elevating daily life and celebrating mundane moments in this public place that might otherwise be overlooked.
Taking as a point of departure Los Angeles’s role as a center of both film and drama, Kevin McCollister presents Union Station and its immediate surroundings as “ready for a close-up.” He treats the iconic building as well as the people and places of its surrounding neighborhood with equal respect—from a solid stone arch in the station to an ephemeral cluster of cotton candy.
Inspired by the architectural landmarks of his childhood in Los Angeles that were disappearing, Jim McHugh began making portraits of a certain category of Los Angeles “celebrities”—the buildings around us, some forgotten and silent. Rather than simple documents of architecture, the photographs serve as portraits as they present impressions of both character and personality.
Drawing on a long history of documenting iconic places and people in the city of Los Angeles, each grouping of Catherine Opie’s images reflects on the site of Union Station, representing details not only of its physical location, but also time and passage with a metaphoric relationship to light and vision. The work wonders at the romantic notion of traveling, the comings and goings, the greetings that happen over the years.
“The Heart of Los Angeles” will remain on display for approximately one year. New rotations of artworks will follow.
Initiated in 2001, the Metro Art Lightbox Program provides photography exhibits that engage a broad range of Metro riders on their daily commute.
Categories: Metro Art