Sunset Park.  Photographs by Henry Wessel.

Sunset Park.

Photographs by Henry Wessel.
Steidl, Göttingen, Germany, 2016. 112 pp., 50 black-and-white illustrations, 11½x11½".

Publisher's Description

This title was cancelled from the publisher.

In 1994, the modest neighborhood of Sunset Park in Santa Monica, California, had not yet been built up into what it is now. To all outward appearances, it resembled the Sunset Park of the 1940s, when Douglas Aircraft brought 40,000 factory workers to the district. Henry Wessel (born 1942) arrived in Sunset Park from New Jersey in the 1970s, while staying at a friend’s house in that area. “It was like being in paradise," he wrote. "The light was so sharp, you could see the edge on everything. I got off the plane and I wanted to photograph everything that was there—I couldn’t stop.” Wessel went on to photograph in Sunset Park for decades, capturing this daylight on his trips to Los Angeles. Over time he became fascinated with the neighborhood’s night-time transformation into something out of a Raymond Chandler novel. The photographs published in this book are the definitive edit of this project, which took four years to complete. Their descriptive content co-exists with an expressive, almost noir-ish quality, simultaneously offering photographic fact and evoking narrative speculation.

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