Expo Line Unveils Work by Legendary L.A. Photographer
By Suzanne Wu
April 24, 2012
On Saturday mornings, USC professor Robbert Flick, a titan in the world of documentary photography, likes to go for long drives around Los Angeles, down streets like Normandie Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard, San Pedro Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, past old craftsman homes and studio lots and the sun-bleached stucco walls of the best produce markets in the city.
These are working joyrides: Flick, who has taught photography at the USC Roski School of Fine Arts since 1976, commutes by train and shoots much of his work from an innocuous moving minivan, capturing the rhythms of street life through streams of images taken from a motorized tripod, allowing him to keep his eyes on the road.
The resulting images, arranged in a grid like a long moving strip, are familiar terrain for the residents in Los Angeles, the daily backdrop of living in this city. But they also are irretrievably lost moments, fragments of another day – the constantly changing skyline and glimpses of people heading to somewhere else, mimicking the experience of gazing out of a train window.
So it could not be more fitting that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) commissioned Flick to provide the artwork for a major stop on the new Exposition Line opening this Saturday, a historic light rail expansion that will finally connect the city’s downtown core to its most populous neighborhood, South Los Angeles.
Flick’s new piece, On Saturdays, will grace the Expo Park/USC stop at an entrance to the main USC campus near the USC Fisher Museum of Art, just across the street from the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center and the Californian African American Museum.