FotoFest Exhibitions

RJ Shaughnessy

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In Your Golden Opportunity is Comeing Very Soon, RJ Shaughnessy hits the streets with his camera – or rather, he photographs where the streets themselves have been hit. Trawling through the parking lots, avenues, and long boulevards of Los Angeles at night, Shaughnessy has gathered together a collection of easily overlooked sites where the street and its furniture have literally been scarred by the physical impact of automobiles. Caught straight on, in black and white, with a powerfully harsh flash, the images take on an air of vintage evidence, like crime scenes captured under the blinding light of intense scrutiny. At the same time, Shaughnessy’s photographs possess a certain graphic if not abstract sensibility – rather than signaling accidents, the pictures suggest that his subjects could be the work of a deconstructivist sculptor, catalogued by a photographer possessing strong formalist inclinations. What at first seem to be the insignificant remnants of forgotten minor accidents become suggestive traces, which bear within them much wider implications about the relationship between car culture, the contemporary city and America at large.

RJ Shaughnessy is a thirty-year old Los Angeles-based photographer whose blend of documentary and fashion has bought him to the attention of numerous publications and garnered jobs working for clients such as Adidas, Nike, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft. Since graduating from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena California, he has built a reputation for capturing the anarchic, spontaneous, and often playful nature of the youth experience. Although they feature a departure from his normal people oriented subject matter, Shaughnessy’s books are a means of accessing a different language with which to approach contemporary life in the city. These pictures are a result of life lived in Los Angeles amid the many thoughts of perfection (and its opposite) that only “the city of angels” can evoke.