Deep Connections features the otherworldly black and white images of artist Ken Karagozian. Made in medium format, his work shares a unique view on Los Angeles few have seen through the documentation of Metro subway construction over the last three decades. Karagozian’s perspective into an unfamiliar environment of underground tunneling balances imagery of massive infrastructure with the humanity of individual workers. This combination of impressive heavy equipment and expertise of skilled building trades make Metro’s complex subterranean construction possible, connecting Los Angeles in groundbreaking ways. Karagozian’s photographs tell the story of important city-building work in Los Angeles, collecting in one place the beautiful, messy, elaborate choreography happening beneath our feet
“Using ambient light, I am drawn to rail lines that appear to go on for eternity, or magically disappear into an abyss. Similarly, I look for reflections, patterns and details to make aesthetically pleasing images that are relatable and timeless. As rail tunneling and station construction progresses, the many steps required have improved and simplified with new technology and equipment. However, the need for human skill to manipulate steel and concrete remains consistent.”
The exhibition, with twelve images on view in the Passageway Art Gallery in 2020 and 2021, is documented in this book alongside first person recollections and expanded materials from Karagozian’s photographic archive.
About the Artist
KEN KARAGOZIAN has been documenting Los Angeles transit project construction since the 1990s. Documenting with medium format, black and white film, Karagozian excels in his portrayals of the constructed world. With subjects ranging from swap meet vendors to subway construction workers to leather-clad motorcyclists, Karagozian celebrates local subcultures through portraiture.
First discovering his love for black and white photography and the craft of developing a fine art print on a high school photography trip to the studio of Ansel Adams in Carmel, Karagozian continued photography workshops with Ansel’s assistants and other fine art photographers.
Karagozian’s photography has been widely exhibited locally and nationally, and has been featured in many publications, including LIFE Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and Pasadena Magazine, as well as on television. His award-winning work has been exhibited in galleries, at fairs and is in the collections of the Huntington Library, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and private collectors. A lifelong Angeleno, Karagozian lives and works in Agoura Hills, California.