Photographer Anthony Samaniego is on a quest to capture the perfect cityscape of Los Angeles — and he’s nowhere close, he says, to achieving his mission. The relentless journey, however, has become an end unto itself, spawning dozens of images over several years that show a fluid, ethereal side of the city that exists between the cracks.
A freelance graphic designer by day, Samaniego spends his nights wandering the streets of downtown L.A. or driving through the hills of Glendale at dusk, capturing moody skylines for his “city series” and pastel-colored sunsets he calls “dreamscapes.” Shooting on film with an old Mamiya camera that’s “big, clunky and robust,” Samaniego gives his images motion and an almost digital feel by taking multiple exposures on the same negative, then tweaking the colors in post-production. The result is at once quirky, dynamic and vulnerable, “a city that feels like it’s alive,” he says.
His large-scale photographs and smaller light box urban landscapes were shown in a solo show — the 32-year-old artist’s first — at Slow Culture Gallery in Highland Park. But the mission, Samaniego says, remains personal.
“I really wanted a photo of L.A. for my apartment, and every one I looked at didn’t look quite right,” says the L.A. native. “I became obsessed, to shoot the right photo of L.A. I’m still searching.”