Week #53 Los Angeles Unmasked: a photographic series

by SJ Finn

 

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Mike Murphy is a photographer with an unfussed MO. His canvas is the raw and lacking streets of Los Angeles. Confronting, sometimes even brutal, his pictures nonetheless project a poetic synergy that makes these barren, even ugly views, quite beautiful. Taken with an iphone that he sometimes straps to his car, Murphy has developed the canny idea of triggering the shutter with a selfie styled button.

But while his technique calls for spontaneity, equally what emerges is not slapdash. The best is purposely framed, shockingly clear, and pricelessly honest. We owe photographers like Murphy for showing us the backend of our polished lives, while giving us the form and the softness to want to look. This is beauty in the ugly. This is seeing in the miss-able. This is an uncut depiction that often tells a whole story.

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