I grew up in California.
Yup, Southern California. Can you tell? I hope not.
Liz didn’t grow up there, but loves living there. She gets to. She can have my spot.
In her statement for California Vernacular she discusses the fact that as weird and out of place everything is in Southern California, she wouldn’t go anywhere else. “…you’d become disillusioned and go back home, and some do, of course, but many more of us stay and instead of growing bitter, we hang on – hang on to world that, to us, is even more fantastic than the one we thought we’d find, because it’s real in its absurdity and because we have stories to tell.”
California Vernacular reminds me of what I have happily left behind, yet gives me a sense of melancholy, like I actually might miss it when its gone. I find it alluring, and exactly what growing up in Newport Beach was like. I always preferred the seedy neighbors, Huntington or Laguna Beach. Now that was so so so long ago, for they have both gone upscale like everything else in SoCal. Nothing was too perfect, there were no McMansions. Everyone had their vision of paradise, and it didn’t always look right from door to door. But it was human. and that’s what I really enjoy most about this work. It’s humanity, honesty and lack of perceived perfection that we all believe happens in that strange corner of the world.
Liz has recently received an Honorable Mention from Jen Bekman’s Hey Hot Shot, and has been part of the Humble Arts Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography, as well as A Field Guide to the North American Family, by Garth Risk Hallberg.