Downtown Los Angeles Inside/Out
photographs by Marissa Roth / text by D.J. Waldie
One of the most visited "real" cities in the world, Los Angeles is a place with many centers — none more drenched in history and diversity than its Downtown. Ironically, Downtown Los Angeles may be its least acknowledged district. But now the buzz begins with the photographs of Marissa Roth and the words of D.J. Waldie. REAL CITY is an honest view of Downtown Los Angeles, the first book of its kind in the 21st century, a book that reveals the heart of this twenty-four-hour-a-day hub. Until now, no book has explored Downtown's inner workings, no writer has devoted his every word to it, and no photographer has done what photojournalist Roth has done in the pages of REAL CITY.
Commissioned to document Downtown L.A. by the Los Angeles Public Library, Roth has ventured into the soul of the City of Angels and recorded images that at once point to its bright sides and its dark sides, its insides and its outsides. More than iconic palm trees and sunsets, these black-and-white photographs define Downtown Los Angeles, as only the work of an artistic genius can. Whether inside the homes of downtown residents — Roth sensitively depicts a woman praying at the Shinto shrine in her living room — or outside the Democratic National Convention — Roth captures demonstrators as they confront the LAPD — the pictures tell the many truths of a city. With lyrical text by award-winning author D.J. Waldie this is far more than a photo book — REAL CITY encapsulates a place in its concrete and human beauty. All its honesty and all its clear-sightedness, make REAL CITY the best sort of love-song a city can have. Real.