The Commute: A Story from Hollywood and Highland

i felt a sharp urge to whip out my mobile phone buried deep in my bag. it’s the premier digital device i’ve grown accustomed to using whenever one of these moments happen. 

my moment today took place in an unfamiliar place – an underground Metro station. although it’s become one of the more recognized sights during my solo trip in Los Angeles, California, i compare the feeling to an electric jolt – one that only a photographer and a sensitive being could relate to. with the help of a weekly transit pass, i’ve allowed buses|trains|and shuttle buses to transport me throughout LA country’s four quadrants. for this trip, i stayed with a friend in the South Bay making the green line most accessible. like many solo escapades via LA Metro, i boarded the train as it were any other day without knowing what i’d find on Hollywood and Highland.

when making my way toward the station’s exit, a cloud of words interrupted my speed. before me was a compilation of family portraits which i knew reflected something deep. knowing i’d soon have an unobstructed view, i allowed all commuters to pass.

my favorite form of art – candid photography – exhibited one family’s loss and revival. Louise, a chubby-cheeked, fair-skinned girl never met her mother. the caption told by the gallerist stated that Louise was born shortly before her mother passed away due to childbirth complications. Her late mother, Louisa, left behind a gift to the world and that is Saint Louise –  their salvation.

Saint Louis is our Salvation
Saint Louis is our Salvation

this story must be one of those sad moments in life where everything beats a little slower. your movement, breathe, and thoughts. i couldn’t help myself to walk past without grabbing a piece of Louise for myself. so i more or less stood alongside every picture and snapped the shutter on my iPhone 5C. one picture showed a thin woman embracing Louise from behind. another portrait caught Louise in a deep gaze toward a pile of oranges that circled her supple figure.

Saint Louis is our Salvation
Saint Louis is our Salvation

navigating through spaces using various metropolitan transportation systems has been my lifeline since 14 years of age. sometimes the commute is pleasant, but often times they are draining. i especially perceived commuting in Los Angeles ti be unbearably long due to obvious factors – one simply being that i didn’t have the neighborhood(s) acumen of like the locals here have. on average my commutes from where i’m staying to where i eventually ended up going took two hours long – some nights were longer. this exhibit, however, solidified that my experiences with tiresome and derailed trips [local, domestic, and international] aren’t in vain. this artist respects the sheer fatigue and loneliness brought on by commuting and its hassles.

Photographs document intimate moments between the artist’s family and their baby, Louise, the first of the next generation. Louise arrived shortly before the death of the artist’s mother, Louisa, and brought great joy to the grieving family. The artist seeks to connect with riders who may spend long hours separated from their families and may feel a longing to be home while commuting. 

long live Louisa and family

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