essays

Recent Nostalgia

Snapshots from the lost world


Things change. This commonly repeated phrase is often said without being given much thought. Sure, it means that small, often insignificant things frequently shift but sometimes, it also means that really big things change in shocking and unexpected ways. At this point it’s safe to say that 2020 aligns firmly with the latter. In Los Angeles, we’re all simultaneously still reeling from the first lockdown while coming to grips with the possibility of a second one. The impact of all this will reverberate throughout society for the rest of our lives. It’s important to prepare for what comes after but first, we need to properly mourn what we’ve lost.

Writing about what used to be considered normal city life in the past tense is disorienting. Part of the beauty of documenting life in L.A. is getting lost in the crowd. This is true of all of the great cities, the addictive nature of the collective hustle is a hard thing to resist. As an artist with a camera, this energy was often my inspiration. A million things happening at once, all taking place separately yet in concert. It was a beautiful sight and, I realize now, a privilege to photograph. Our casual interactions with one another were a reflection of the human condition in its purest form. It’s one of the most valuable aspects of daily life taken from us by this pandemic.