The art initiatives Metro takes are great. They’re sometimes hard to find and can go unnoticed as they are positioned to be in the corner of your eye as you rush to or from the train after scaling multiple flights of stairs. The Hollywood and Highland station does a good job of making sure you see what art they have up and the station regularly rotates new art in and out of there every quarter (or so it seems). The most recent showing is great: LA Day, LA Night by Michael Light.
Michael Light is a San Francisco based photographer who took a series of aerial photos of Los Angeles that were the basis for a 2011 book of the same title. The photos present LA as a glowing, white sprawl that extends and extends and extends until you are lost in light. These are obviously the LA daytime photos. The nighttime photos have the same effect but use the now invisible buildings as candle holders to outline the city’s exoskeleton. The photos isolate neighborhoods and zoom out to get bigger sweeps of the entire city. Light does an excellent job of making iconic parts of Los Angeles completely alien by employing light and darkness. The effect really points out how big the city is and how small we can be within it.
The irony of photos representing a large, difficult to traverse city placed at the entrance to a Metro stop is wonderful. In a way, the photos highlight an almost antiquated view of the city as they reinforce how difficult it is to get from one part of town to another. We’ll look back at them and laugh one day, pointing out how many silly cars are on the road. Thankfully, this is all changing because of the Metro and, thankfully, we get to encounter Light’s great work for a few more weeks at the Hollywood and Highland station.
The selection of LA Day, LA Night being shared is a series of seven light boxes that are located near the entrance TAP machines. It should also be noted that the photos shared predominately feature Hollywood and Downtown, the areas that the Red Line connects. You can get more information on Light here and get more information on his book here.