Ever heard of Anthony Hernandez? You're not alone. The 69-year old photographer has gone largely ignored by the mainstream, enjoying acclaim only in select art world communities. But Anthony Hernandez's time has finally come—and it's coming to San Francisco.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is launching a large-scale retrospective of Hernandez's work, much of which is focused on street life in Los Angeles, from the sticky glamour of Rodeo Drive to the urban ruin of industrial LA.
"I loved to walk, versus taking the streetcar or bus home," Hernandez explained to the New York Times. "That walking was always taking different routes home. Exploring the alleys. Just looking, you might say."
The Hernandez retrospective is due in large part to SFMoMa Curator Erin O'Toole who stumbled upon the photographer's work while doing research. "The first time I saw those pictures, they bowled me over," O'Toole, a native Angeleno told the NYT. "They were the only ones I’ve ever seen that captured that sense of Los Angeles, to me. The unidealized Los Angeles. The real L.A. that I knew. That incredible quality of light. And this wide-openness of the long boulevards. The combination of physical beauty and the sort of ruin that you see in L.A."
For his part, Hernandez is pretty laid back about large scale recognition is what the New York Times calls, "a white-hot city." He took an SFMoMa video crew along on a photography shoot in the Mojave Desert, where the humble photographer made his art look impossibly easy in this 4-minute video.
The 160-photograph retrospective will span Hernandez's 45-year career, with a special (and locally significant) focus on his 1991 series, "Landscapes for the Homeless."
"Anthony Hernandez" runs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from September 24, 2016—January 1, 2017.