The shifting foundations of home, physically and psychically, are the key theme of the late Larry Sultan’s (1946–2009) photographs.
Home is a place that we inhabit, yet as we move through life, home can seem like a mythical place, over there. This photograph comes from the artist’s last series, in which he cast day laborers in staged photograph. While rooted in the California landscape and its particular dynamics of terrain and labor, this image suggests a dreamlike place, with the abundantly blossoming cherry tree borrowing motifs from Asian art.
—Glen Helfand, Guest Curator
From Larry Sultan’s statement about the project:
I’m not sure if there is a specific term for these places. They are deeply reminiscent of the terrain I sought out as a child: the empty fields behind malls and scruffy borderlands of the LA river that ran behind my house in the San Fernando Valley. These places represented a small and vanishing patch of paradise that existed just outside the boundaries of property and ownership; a free zone that eased my (adolescent) uncertainty and provided a safe place away from the judgment of others. . . . [This scene alludes] to the poignancy of displacement and the longing for home.
Learn more about Larry Sultan by downloading his CV.