Rodeo Drive, 1984 – Anthony Hernandez

After spending much of his career making black and white photographic projects of the gritty working-class east of Los Angeles, Anthony Hernandez turned to colour photography and focused his sights on the very place that defined Reagan-era consumerism in the 1980s: Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. The book holds a series of 41 images, depicting a stream of shoulder pads, oversize sunglasses and casually coiffed perms – the overt symbols of socio-economic success. “These are the victors...enjoying the spoils of their victory on Rodeo Drive,” Lewis Baltz writes. Hernandez went to the infamous shopping highway as an impartial observer, snapping away and shooting fast as he walked, wanting always to remain “invisible”. As such, the photographs have a quality of spontaneity about them – the shoppers caught naturally and unaware, drifting lazily up and down their glass-fronted landscape in a sun-bleached haze. Wry and witty, the project is a sumptuous documentation of the complexity of upscale social spaces.  

Anthony Hernandez
Rodeo Drive, 1984
£45 / 96pp / Nov 2012
ISBN: 9781907946264

Reviewed by Joanna Cresswell
Buy the book here