In Los Angeles County there are more than seven million registered vehicles. They work all day to create two of LA’s most infamous commodities: traffic jams and smog. But where do all those cars go to rest? By nature, I am a night owl. In what Kafka called his most productive hours, when dream and reality meet, I go out to photograph sleeping cars. I search ceaselessly for cars that speak to me.
My cars are loners. They command their own space and enjoy showing off their presence. Like a devoted bird watcher I have learned to recognize their sleeping patterns. With voyeuristic pleasure I’ve spied on them in their nightgowns. I’ve watched some sleep in the nude; some take afternoon naps and a few lucky ones get to sleep together. I find covered cars more in L.A. than anywhere else. Here, middle-class families generally own more than one car, but their homes only have one-car garages. So many cars are left parked on the street for an extended period - lovingly covered, especially during holidays, when their owners treat them like crated pets. Around the 4th of July is a good time to find them — the concerned cover their beloved cars to protect them from damaging celebratory fireworks.
I like to photograph during foggy nights or a full moon. A few times the police have stopped me in my work, wondering what I was doing out in the streets in the middle of the night. Was I a Peeping Tom or even worse, a paparazzo? After being shown a few of the car photographs on my iPad, they’ve even colluded with me and tipped me off about interesting cars to check out in the neighborhood.
The cars in this project are photographed as I find them. Occasionally, proud car owners will ask me if I want them to move or uncover the car for the photograph, but I generally don’t like them to disturb the cars in their slumber.