The thing that strikes me first about Fred Hoerr’s pictures is how natural they seem. He looks at street life without judgment, people engaged in their daily activities under difficult circumstances and he finds beauty in them. His gaze is a gentle one. He also brings an artists eye for composition and color. It’s only when you think about how differently others see this subject that his singular vision becomes apparent. I like these pictures. Fred has been photographing the Los Angeles homeless for many years. He knows his subjects by name and he knows their life.
Not all of the images are of the homeless. There are also urban landscapes with clumps of weed and grass growing in unlikely places and beautiful sunsets over decaying ruins. What he does that is special is to make both the beautiful and the abandoned feel somehow equal. One image, a long lens view seen from far away shows a beautiful green landscape in the foreground with hillside tract homes in the middle and the towers of the city in the distance. It says many things about the city in a single frame.
The show, Promised Land, is running at Groundspace Project, a gallery located far from gallery row. Situated in a gritty building near the edge of the Los Angeles River you can see the show then step outside and find yourself in the middle of the landscape that inspired it.
Groundspace Project is an artist-run, alternative exhibition space located in downtown Los Angeles just east of the 4th street bridge.
From June 18th to July 9th, 2016
1427 E. 4th Street
Los Angeles #4, CA 90033
Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday, 1 to 6 pm.
Written and photographed by Andy Romanoff