BEHIND THE WHEEL IN LOS ANGELES
A taxi driver’s photographic journey through the City of Angels. http://slate.me/1UanLD2
- •Erik Hagen moved to L.A. from New York City in 2009.Without a life plan, he started driving taxis.
- •He’d studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, but for many years his camera gathered dust.On a whim, he decided to start taking pictures from the front seat of his car.
- •When he got the film back, he knew he’d stumbled onto something bigger.For the next five and a half years, he shot whenever he could.
- •It wasn’t always an easy process, says Hagen.“There’s lots of film that was completely useless. That said, sometimes it came back to me even better than I could have imagined.”
- •His series “Los Angeles” depicts the intense isolation of a cab driver’s life.In a typical week, he’d spend 60 hours behind the wheel.
- •“People think of L.A. as a paradise, as glitzy. They think of Hollywood. But when you drive a taxi you’re not part of that.”
- •Some of the photos were taken on Hagen’s days off, as he strolled around the city.
- •Still, they capture a similar film noir aesthetic.
- •Hagen now lives in Delaware, and while he doesn’t miss driving a cab, the West Coast still holds some appeal to him.
- •“One winter back and I already miss Los Angeles.”