Project Description Taken by the artist while on the road, these images conjure a passenger’s associations to another time, or place, during their travels. Artist Statement “My concept for this project is a simple one: To bring the beauty of and atmosphere of nature to the urban spaces people commute in. My images have a quality that I often hear transports viewers to another time or place in their lives. The images I have selected are all images that were made while traveling or on the road. They mirror the commuter’s journey but clearly in a more reflective way.” About the Artist TODD HIDO is a San Francisco-based artist whose work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Metropolis, I-D, and Vanity Fair. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Display year: 2010 – 2013 Locations: Universal City/Studio City Station No longer on display
These images generally trace the route of the Metro A Line (Red) on Wilshire and become a frozen record of the neighborhood under which the trains run.
Project Description For Cardenas, traversing by bus or train in a city known for its cars and freeways is a study of Los Angeles’s diverse cultures, people and neighborhoods. To create the photographs in Anonymous (2016), the artist roamed the city in all modes of transportation: bike, bus, train, car and foot. Inspired by the nuances of daily life, he discreetly captured distinct moments as they unfolded in front of him. These artworks are part of the Metro Art Photo Lightbox Series, displayed in select stations between 2017 and 2020. Artist Statement “These images tell stories that are often overlooked as we move anonymously through the streets of Los Angeles. They speak to the smells, sites and sounds of the city, and the many individuals encountered as they head to work, play and home.” About the Artist RAFAEL CARDENAS (b. 1971, Jalisco, Mexico) is a self-taught photographer who chronicles the personalities and times in which we are living through intimate portraits and street scenes, primarily capturing the gamut of life in East Los Angeles where he …
During a train ride from Oakland to New York, the artist utilized the time to create artistic installations that reinterpreted the interior space of a sleeper car, as well as the relationship between the train and the passing landscape.
Project Description Coming and Going symbolizes contemporary society’s relationship with nature, which has become that which exists between human-made elements; columns, buildings, roads, and cities. How do we recognize the disjunction in the artist’s image? How do we reassemble them as we see it? Artist Statement “I wanted to juxtapose high resolution photographed imagery of nature with the long traversed underground corridor. The work comes out of my on-going focus of nature and contemporary urban society” About the Artist STEPHEN GALLOWAY has exhibited his photography extensively throughout the west coast and has been published in Artweek, San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News. Galloway received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Photography from San Francisco State University. Display year: 2009 – 2010 Locations: No longer on display
Portraits of a cross-section of Angelenos were photographed in front of a pair of paper mache wings, constructed by artist Colette Miller and affixed to a roll down gate on Main Street.
The seven images selected for this series of cinematically constructed photographs convey both the naturalness and self-consciousness that pervade all adolescent interactions.
Project Description Travelers, encountered by the artist at Union Station, are captured in hyper real lighting and transformed into everyday icons in a celebration of mundane moments that would otherwise be overlooked. Artist Statement “I’m interested in exploring the character of historically significant sites by shooting a series of environmental portraits of the people who live and work in those locales. Union Station is the beating heart of the vast urban physiology of Los Angeles and its commuters and travelers are a microcosm of the surrounding city and county.” About the Artist SAM COMEN is a documentary photographer and has received Forward Thinking Museum and Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Launch grants and a Communication Arts Photography Annual Award. He has exhibited his work nationally in solo and group shows. Display year: 2014 – 2015 Locations: No longer on display
Project Description Inspired by the disappearing building landmarks of his childhood, the artist used the bygone medium of Polaroid film to make architectural portraits of a certain category of Los Angeles celebrities. Artist Statement “Many of these buildings have appeared in more films than the biggest movie stars. I wanted to make for my daughter pictures of the Los Angeles I remembered growing up. The pictures also hold memories of my mother, what she saw as a young girl with big dreams stepping off that train in Union Station in 1941, from a small town in Minnesota. A mythical city of glamour and Raymond Chandler, the trumpet of Chet Baker, the mood, the light and darkness of Los Angeles.” About the Artist JIM McHUGH has exhibited nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions at New York’s Farmani Gallery, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the James Corcoran Gallery and Timothy Yarger Fine Art in Los Angeles. His photography has garnered many awards and is included in prominent collections such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York, …
Project Description In 2001, artist Eileen Cowin inaugurated the program with a series of photographs titled, I see what you’re saying (train of thought). These black and white, larger than life, close-up images of eyes and mouths felt separated from their overall context of a continuing narrative. “Eyes” view, witness, notice, watch and spy while “mouths” talk, pout, utter, and express. In viewing these photographs, we were reminded of our habit of looking at others and reading stories into what we see. As we wait, travel, stand or sit, we daydream and those around us weave into our imagination. Artist Statement “The ‘gestures’ in these images are plainly seen, but remain ambiguous… These scenes ride the edge between the real and the unreal, between social commentary and personal fantasy.” About the Artist EILEEN COWIN is an artist who uses photography as a medium. She has been the chair of the Photography Department at California State University at Fullerton for many years. Her Bachelor of Science is from the State University of New York, New Paltz, and Master of …
Project Description This selection of photographs, titled In the Ether (2015), by Joyce Campbell documents the flora from two local sites: Crown Coach Yard, a 40-acre industrial brownfield in downtown Los Angeles, and the canyons around the artist’s home in Glassell Park. The artworks expand upon Campbell’s ongoing series LA Botanical, which presents a photographic archive of the functional plants that inhabit Los Angeles. The images are produced onsite using a century-old field camera and an early photographic process called wet plate, which was invented in 1850, the same year that the city of Los Angeles was incorporated. The plant life depicted in Campbell’s black-and-white portraits are primarily wildings and weeds that persist on the edges of urbanity and were originally cultivated by the area’s earliest settlers and indigenous peoples. Emphasizing the substantial changes that have occurred within the landscape and ecology of Los Angeles since the city’s founding, the collection of images intends to highlight the many, largely forgotten, uses for these botanic specimens, ranging from food, medicine and weaponry as well as ceremonial and spiritual …
Project Description Taking as a point of departure Los Angeles’ role as a center of film and drama, the artist presents Union Station and its immediate surroundings as ready for a close up. Artist Statement “Full of history and drama, I’ve aimed to treat the iconic Union Station, 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.” About the Artist KEVIN McCOLLISTER has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. His photographs have appeared in publications that include Digital Capture At Night and East of West L.A. Selected Photographs by Kevin McCollister. Display year: 2014 – 2015 Locations: No longer on display
Project Description LaBelle’s photographs depict some of LA’s most iconic apartment hotels located in Hollywood, Koreatown and MacArthur Park neighborhoods. These mystifying images draw awareness to important aspects of LA’s past that may have been forgotten. The long exposures give the neon a smoldering luminosity, while the palm trees, illuminated with a hand held spotlight serve as a silent witness to the buildings and their history. Artist Statement “My aim in making these images was to call attention to places in the city that are often overlooked and to illuminate aspects of the city’s history which have been forgotten. Literally casting a light on the past, my hope is that these images will renew the enchantment of the city for those of us who have come to take its beauty and strangeness for granted.” About the Artist CHARLES LABELLE obtained his Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe. He was a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Center Study Fellowship in …
Project Description Beautiful photo images depict piles of the not so beautiful remains of mass consumption, serving as visual reminders of the roles we all play in America’s unsustainable culture. Artist Statement “I am appalled by these scenes, and yet also drawn into them with awe and fascination. The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity.” About the Artist CHRIS JORDAN has exhibited his work internationally and is the recipient of the Greenleaf Award and a Lannan Foundation Production Grant. Based in San Francisco, Jordan’s focus on sustainability and waste not only have afforded him exhibition opportunities but also speaking engagements at Green symposiums and conferences. Display year: 2010 – 2013 Locations: 7th St/Metro Center Station No longer on display
Project Description The daytime images were taken directly into the sun, and depict highways as meandering rivers. The nighttime shots move from representation to abstraction becoming a reversed celestial sky. Artist Statement “I couldn’t resist the concept of placing work made about LA itself a couple of years ago in the entrances to its underground circulatory system. This series is comprised of three key daytime aerial images of Los Angeles and four night aerial shots alternating through the seven photo lightbox sequence.” About the Artist MICHAEL LIGHT is a San Francisco-based photographer and bookmaker focused on contemporary American culture’s relationship to the environment. He has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, and his work has been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Research Library, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. He is the recipient of the Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography. Display year: 2010 – 2013 Locations: Vermont/Beverly StationNo longer on display
Project Description The layered cyan, magenta and yellow transparencies in Matthew Brandt’s photographic series L.A. Flow (2016) were processed through a waterfall system that pumps Los Angeles tap water over the surface of each monochrome print. It took weeks for the water to erode the pathways that form the images. Alluding to the necessity of interdependence, the artworks are a reminder that the city’s municipal water system, like Metro, connects us all through an infinitely shifting network of relations that are essential to everyday life. These artworks are part of the Metro Art Photo Lightbox Series and will be displayed in select stations between 2017 and 2020. Artist Statement “Recent events throughout the United States have shown us the fragility of municipal water systems and the power of civic stewardship. Though the populace of Los Angeles is economically and culturally diverse, we all drink from the same tap. Our daily decisions impact those around us.” About the Artist MATTHEW BRANDT (b. 1982, Los Angeles) earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of …
The seven energetic images selected for this series were produced by a photogram process and tell stories that reflect the idea of journeys, passages, memories, and thresholds that define our lives.
Project Description John Humble’s compelling series of 12 color photographs, titled Natura Urbanus (2015), expands upon a long-term photographic project exploring the paradoxes and ironies of the Los Angeles landscape. Each set of three artworks considers nature in relation to one of four themes: the Los Angeles River, power lines, artificial nature and freeways. Among the photographs are pictorial representations of the Los Angeles River, which has been exploited, encased in concrete, and has recently begun to be reclaimed to its natural state. Additionally, the artist points his lens toward the many miles of potted plants that exist in Los Angeles nurseries on leased land beneath the city’s vital power lines, where it is illegal to build permanent buildings. Manmade elements that imitate nature to make technology inconspicuous—such as manufactured trees used to camouflage cell phone towers—and the many natural elements that coexist with and in spite of the city’s freeways are also featured in this group of artworks. These artworks are part of a Metro Art Photo Lightbox Series exhibition were on view through spring 2016 in …
The series depicts the rolling hills and native flora of western Los Angeles at Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyon and captures the foothill woodlands that run along the San Gabriel Mountains to the east through images taken at Descanso Gardens.
This portrait of our metropolis offers a sense of both place and displacement, and underscores the need for a thriving public transportation system. The series also gives us a sense of where we are personally and on the level of urban planning.
Union Station’s greenery is highlighted to create a temporarily refreshing moment and tranquil state of mind, recognizing that busy travelers may overlook the beauty of the station’s outdoor spaces and natural assets.
The artist’s use of a silk flower to mimic the imperfect appearance of a wilting lily—its blossoming, sagging, drying and falling petals—is a metaphor that investigates socially constructed notions of gender.
Each grouping of images within Union Station represent not only details from the physical environment, but also time and passage, light and vision, and the romantic notion of traveling and greetings over the years.
‘Photo Binge’ satirizes an urban, commodity-driven culture that focuses on food, health, nutrition, beauty and the surface of things. The collage of images depicts various binge activities such as eating, exercising and shopping.
This series of photo-based artwork that rotates throughout lightboxes installed at five Metro transit stations provides a traveling platform for temporary exhibitions of photographic art that engage a broad range of Metro riders and geographies en route to their destinations.