PASSING THROUGH: Photographs by Leopoldo Peña

(We encourage you to view the artwork in person.)

The Avenue 50 Studio Annex presents:

PASSING THROUGH: Photographs by Leopoldo Peña

Passing Through is an excerpt of a larger body of work in which I am using street photography as a register of demographic change resulting from the deployment of economic forces to reshape the urban space. Although most of the images in the exhibit were captured at different points along the stretch of Broadway Avenue between Griffin Avenue and 9th Street, I am less concerned with the urban landscape than with the individuals who transits through the street on a daily basis. Ironically, the most obvious transformation manifested in the photographs is on the facades of buildings, yet, every architectural face-lift brings a disruption of the quotidian scene around it and with that, the displacements of those individuals who were part of it. And that less obvious change is what I seek to capture. In the four years that I have been pursuing the project, I have lost sight of many of the individuals I have photographed: faces once familiar to specific locations seemed to have gone when the location changed. I plan to work on Broadway for another year, after that, I will compile a set of images that reflect that change I sought to capture, then, I too will move on further south.

My current work continues to explore the urban space, this time though, I am not walking. In South L.A. Scenes, I am photographing from the car as way of reflecting on the popular notion about south Los Angeles as ‘unsafe’ place; perhaps inhabitable for many; certainly home for many others, including myself. Ferreteria (2013) comes from that series which I will pursue for several years to come.” -Artist Statement

Opening Reception Night: Saturday, November 9th | 7-10pm

Exhibits run: November 9 – December 7, 2013


Avenue 50 Studio, Inc.
131 North Avenue 50
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 258-1435


Leopoldo Peña was born in Michoacán, México and has lived in Los Angeles since 1992. He is a founding member of Colectivo Bajalta, a photo collective organized to promote photography and create a dialog between documentary photographers in the three Californias.

Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at University of California, Irvine. He received a Master’s degree in Spanish and Latin American Literature from Cal State University, Long Beach in 2012. He also works as a freelance photographer/language educator and on personal photo projects and spends most of his free time with his son.

The focus of his photography work is the documentation of cultural performance in California by immigrant communities from Oaxaca and the creation of images exploring the symbolism of human-made elements imposed on the natural landscape.

His work has been published in La Opinión, Al Borde, Derive, Grey Magazine, Retina, NACLA: Report on the Americas, B/W Magazine and El Tequio.