In 1975 Tod Papageorge made a cross-America trip that ended on the beaches of Los Angeles. There, taken by the blinding light, he produced some of his first medium-format (6 x 9 cm) photographs. In 1978 he returned to Los Angeles to expand on those first pictures and, in 1981 and 1988, on shorter visits, added yet again to this body of work.
“I think that part of what these beach pictures are about is the difference between our preconceptions of a place and what, when we get there, that place turns out to be. In this case (of Los Angeles and its coastline), I think it’s also fair to suggest that those preconceptions are particularly strong, shaped as they irresistibly have been by the movies and popular music. So, as a first point, what I wanted to do on this project was examine those preconceptions (at least as I conjured them) through the descriptive power of photography in order to pin down what two semi-myths - the world of surfers and the life of southern California beaches –‘really’ looked like."
Tod Papageorge is an American photographer and teacher who began his photographic career on the streets of New York City in the middle-1960s. Between 1979 and 2013, he directed the graduate photography program at the Yale University School of Art. He is well-known for his photographs of Studio 54, a body of work from the late 70s that was published by Stanley/Barker in 2014.
Interview with Tod Papageorge in i-D
Hardcover with jacket
24.5 cm x 28 cm
Published 2023 by Stanley/Barker