Los Angeles is a city that exists, primarily, in images. In the popular imagination, it is presented as a collection of postcards of the obvious: sun, surf, Sunset Boulevard. The city is all of these things, to be sure. But the L.A. we know presents itself differently. Thumb through any Angeleno’s feeds, post up in their group chats, cruise with them down Crenshaw or Whittier, Fairfax or Santa Monica and the multitudes of images couldn’t be further from the filters of the national gaze. What one sees determines the type of L.A. experience one gets. The world gets off the plane and immediately searches Runyon or In-N-Out, while the rental GPS barks out orders in a welcoming tone. Angelenos pull up to the strip mall, the taco stand, the donut shop, turn off the ignition and stay a while.
Image is the L.A. Times’ new style magazine. It is tasked with representing the style and sensibility of the city. That means capturing the attitude — the posture if you will — of this other Los Angeles, the one that’s been hiding in plain sight. Image is a celebration of Los Angeles creatives and intellectuals. The limitless brilliance of the city inspires us: artists, writers, designers, illustrators, photographers, filmmakers, stylists, workers, fashionistas, hypebeasts, creatives we been seen you. This is your magazine.
Joan Didion once remarked, “The future always looks good in the golden land, because no one remembers the past.” So consider this a corrective. Issue 1 of Image is titled REMEMBRANCE. There is a difference between passive reference and active reverence. We believe that for too long the former has been allowed to substitute for the latter. In this issue, you will find work committed to the conscious act of remembering. The artist moves between images and memory to create meaning. The designer folds yesterday into the material of the present to make the future more textured. Our writers in this issue have done the same. In an essay, the novelist Justin Torres makes sense of his love of gold chains. The actor Sarah Ramos remembers what it was like not to get the role of a lifetime. Jason Parham mines the tenderness of the late-filmmaker John Singleton, the Bard of South L.A. Vinson Cunningham talks to the historian of our times, Robin D.G. Kelley.
True style, after all, is time travel. We hope you enjoy your journey through this very L.A. experience. See the full package here.
Ian F. Blair
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Robin D.G. Kelley and Vinson Cunningham on L.A. solidarity and the Black Radical Tradition.