Since the early 1970s, when he began photographing on the streets of his native Los Angeles, Anthony Hernandez has consistently pushed his practice into uncharted territory, challenging himself by adopting new formats and subject matter. Moving from black and white to color, from 35mm to large-format cameras, and from the human figure to landscapes to abstracted detail, he has produced an unusually varied body of work united by its arresting beauty and subtle engagement with social issues. At first largely unaware of the formal traditions of the medium, Hernandez developed his own style of street photography, one uniquely attuned to the desolate allure and sprawling expanses of LA.Published to accompany the photographer's first retrospective, "Anthony Hernandez" offers a comprehensive introduction to his career of more than 40 years, tracing his evolution as well as highlighting continuities across his practice. The catalogue represents the full range and breadth of Hernandez's work, with an extensive plate section that includes many photographs that have never before been exhibited or published.Anthony Hernandez (born 1947) grew up in a Los Angeles far removed from the idealized Hollywood image of the city. Although he has turned his lens on other landscapes--including Saigon, Rome and various American cities--Los Angeles, and especially the neighborhoods inhabited by the working class, the poor and the homeless, has been his most enduring subject.
Whether you think of California as a promised land or a dead end, it's always been a reliable source of inspiration for photographers, and some of my favorite new books explore the terrain from unexpected angles. The most substantial of these is Anthony Hernandez.--Vince Aletti "Photograph Magazine "