Wilshire & Vermont, 2016 + Recent Photographs

Major intersections are the heart of many great cities. Los Angeles is no different, these important junctures are where worlds and neighborhoods overlap and blend.

Wilshire & Vermont, 2016 + Recent Photographs
Northeast corner of Wilshire and Vermont. Los Angeles, 2016.

Archival Recordings 16

Major intersections are the heart of many great cities. Los Angeles is no different, these important junctures are where worlds and neighborhoods overlap and blend. Wilshire Blvd./Vermont Ave, Santa Monica Blvd/Western Ave, Hollywood Blvd/Highland Ave, Crenshaw Blvd/MLK Blvd, and on and on, they all have their own specific energy and reflect the neighborhoods they connect. At peak times these streets pulsate with life, filled with vendors and commuters going every which way. It’s an excellent vantage point to observe a side of life in the city that isn’t celebrated enough.

Over the years, I’ve made some of my most interesting work documenting major intersections. Throngs of people heading in different directions contrasting with makeshift storefronts and occupied bus shelters create new, random compositions every time the walk signal lights up. Each cycle adds new variables that reverberate and initiate chain reactions on every corner.

Northwest corner of Wilshire and Vermont. Los Angeles, 2016.

It can be challenging subject matter. It takes time to get used to being in the flow without disrupting it. The photographs I’m sharing in this essay are from 2016. Shot using my Contax T2 at the height of rush hour (on what I believe is Fuji Superia but I’m not positive), I recall just standing on the northwest corner of Vermont Avenue and Wilshire for a while before I took any images. That’s not unusual for me, if I have the chance I always just watch how things flow for a while before I start shooting. The time allows me to observe the scene and think about how to frame it. 

One of the things about these images that jumps out at me 8 years later is how much this particular intersection has changed.

The pandemic decimated foot traffic at places like this and vendors and other local businesses took the biggest hits. At the height of the shut down, this space was deserted and even now scars remain. Although it’s no longer empty, like most parts of our new, post-pandemic “normal”, it feels changed in an intangible, yet significant way. 

Recent Photographs

Starting Archival Recordings has made me focus on the work I create on a weekly basis. My workflow is what fuels this project and documenting daily life in a city as vibrant as Los Angeles is a blessing. I purposely don’t share much work on social media anymore but keep checking the newsletter, website, and my printed zines for new photography. The set of photographs below is from Central Los Angeles and were taken in the past two weeks. I love the architecture in the area and, although it is close to USC, it has managed to hang on to its character despite the areas surrounding it being consumed by gentrification and student housing.

Updates & Notes

My Creators in Residence exhibition at LAPL Central Library is still up but not for long! In 2022, I was named one of the inaugural Creators in Residence for the Los Angeles Public Library. During my residency I produced the work for this show, along with a book titled "Knowledge Based" and an illustrated zine. The show was initially going to run for a few months but it still remains up over a year later! It will be taken down soon to make space for this years residents but be sure to drop in to experience it in person if you have the opportunity.

I also have copies of my book, "Knowledge Based" available for sale at Structure and Hue! Follow the link below for info:

That's all I have for you all this time around, I'm working hard on getting Archival Zine 02 to the printer so all you paid subscribers have something to look forward to in the mail relatively soon. The zine will be available for sale individually but the subscription is the best deal. Thanks for all of the support and see y'all out there.

Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin
Archival Recordings