by Dan Lopez
Published by Bywater Bros. Editions 2017
For generations, Los Angeles has existed in the collective imagination as a city of opportunity and magical thinking, attracting multitudes from all corners of the world. But as mythology teaches us again and again, allegory doesn’t easily align with the truth. And yet, the city manages to find an unexpected harmony, an equilibrium through its many contrasts and contradictions.
Constellation Road seeks to capture this special resonance by embracing the paradox between the idealized version of the West and the reality. By honing in on the abundant symbolism of everyday objects in unusual places, Lopez’s photography highlights the links between seemingly disparate elements while also exposing the latent humor hidden in the banal.
By acknowledging the contradictions of Los Angeles through the patterns of degeneration and decay, renovation and rejuvenation and by invoking the motifs of the West—open spaces, motels, signage, palm trees, old cars and perpetual blue skies—we are able to navigate the city as a wayfarer might, using the symbology as a map with which we can explore an often surreal landscape. Lopez seeks to take us on a journey where we find treasures we never expected, forgetting, for a moment, the ones that we were promised.
Constellation Road consists of photos that were primarily taken around Los Angeles and the adjacent Mojave Desert.