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Angels Point

Angels Point

by Adam Ianniello

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Angels Point is a cliff’s edge in Elysian Park, the oldest park in Los Angeles. In 2017, Adam Ianniello began photographing this wilderness overlooking the concrete sprawl of the city with his large-format camera. The resulting black and white photographs, taken over a period of three years, capture the lesser-seen sublime in the midst of one of America’s largest cities.

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Elysian Park was founded in 1866. Previous uses of the land include a Jewish cemetery, a rock quarry, and the Chavez Ravine, a rural Mexican-American neighbourhood demolished and buried under Dodger Stadium which sits below Angels Point. The histories of the land pervade book—the photographs show the traces and artifacts of those who have passed through. The large-format medium references the landscape photography of the past whilst the images themselves bear witness to contemporary life.

The book opens with a chance encounter with a man named Angel and is then sequenced to follow his imagined path through the park, lingering on hideaways, forgotten objects and strangers before exiting the park at dusk. This echoes Ianniello’s own experiences of walking through Angels Point, stopping to photograph along the way, as he learnt how to use the view camera. The park’s environment afforded him the anonymity to wander with a tripod without feeling out of place. Turning on its head the current era of instant image production, the meditative nature of constructing the images at this slow pace allowed the narrative of the book to be guided by nature rather than by the park’s passing visitors.

Published Autumn 2022
(update: February 2023)
290 x 240mm portrait
88 pages, 41 images
ISBN 978-1-910401-75-0

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  • Adam Ianniello (b. 1987) is an American landscape photographer currently based in Los Angeles, California. His photographs have been featured in various publications such as American Chordata, C4 Journal. Def Greif and Vogue as well as widely exhibited, most recently in Mark Steinmetz and Irina Rozovsky’s group show ‘When in Athens’. In 2020, he co-founded the imprint Smog Press. Ianniello was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and studied art history and photography at Baruch College and the School of Visual Arts.

  • 'The road leading to Angels Point is lined with palm trees and parked cars. On the asphalt, broken glass, used condoms, and a deflated birthday balloon shimmer in the sun. Footprints snake out into the dry brush. All paths frequented, all paths alone. Old sycamores keep watch from above, etched with names of past lovers and lost phone numbers. Below is a vast sea of highways and houses. Above, glass towers peek through the cloud of smog. Angels Point stands at the edge of the new and the forgotten. A place to hide, to explore, with no commitments, no judgments.’

    - Adam Ianniello