A journey through the suburbs of Los Angeles
Sinziana Velicescu‘s ‘On the Periphery’ explores the aesthetic and utilitarian effect of architecture in and around parts of Los Angeles that are less visited by the general public. Each image is a mini, minimal masterpiece – a perfect combination of clean lines and vivid colours, finding order, calm and beauty in an endless American suburbia.
She’s also an avid Instagramer, and her handle @casualtimetravel while seemingly random at first, is actually an apt description of her work. In a gentle, un-fussy way she captures ephemeral, fleeting moments in a city that never sits still. Boroughs that will be gentrified, cracked paintwork that will be re-decorated. The cleanliness of her approach and the crisp blue skies give her work a timeless, enduring quality.
We asked Sinziana to share the story behind her work with us.
Los Angeles is my home town, and to keep from falling out of love with it, I eliminate the details that I do not wish to experience, both psychologically and visually. I use photography to learn to see the same city differently every time. The limitations of a frame allow me to distance myself from some of the uglier truths Los Angeles has to offer. I am attracted to its clean lines and subtle tones, as well as spaces that are freed from the restraints of an overgrowing population saturated with advertisement and modern technology. There is almost always an underlying desire in my photographs to escape to another place or perhaps another time.
“Los Angeles is my home town, and to keep from falling out of love with it, I eliminate the details that I do not wish to experience, both psychologically and visually”.
‘On the Periphery’ also replicates the loneliness of driving through a city that is most often experienced from a car. Spending too much time inside an automobile, as is customary for most Angelinos, can become an alienating experience. It is from these spaces between point A and B that I draw most of my inspiration. These are the areas that lie on the edge of where we are going to. On the periphery of our destinations, human interaction is replaced by encounters with the cityscape as the surrounding architecture begins to take on personality. Buildings and facades are keepers of stories. They, like us, have a chronological lifespan, taking on new characteristics with every layer of paint, and their exteriors can only hint or adversely distract us to the realities that take place within.
The moments captured in my photographs are fragments of a cityscape’s lifetime that are most often ignored or hidden from view. These are the details missed by an entire population concerned solely with reaching a destination. Ultimately I am painting an abstracted portrait of a rapidly changing cityscape, with a subtle focus on the occasional reminder of its previous manifestations. The urban environment nowadays develops so quickly that every little change is often taken for granted. Natural landscapes more or less last forever but the green wall I photographed last week recently got graffiti-ed on and is now a shade of grey; or that beautiful hand painted sign in Thai Town was recently transformed into a T-Mobile billboard. I often revisit my subjects and photograph them multiple times as they go through their various stages – often times they change or disappear completely. Essentially I am trying to capture some ephemeral aspects of Los Angeles that may be gone tomorrow.