Projects > Oil and Water

California gas stations have an iconic history in art. See Ed Ruscha and Stephen Shore, among others.

In our unusually wet winter of early 2011, I became obsessed with photographing Los Angeles gas stations in the rain. I love how rain warps and splatters the light, transforming the streetscape; how the windshield wiper becomes a paintbrush spreading viscous pigment; and how the images hover between realism and abstraction, raindrops forming a veil between the two.

The series was photographed entirely on my cell phone, with finished prints enlarged to 34” x 44”. None of the images has been Photoshopped or otherwise manipulated after the picture was taken; solarization effects were done in-camera, on location, at the moment of shooting, maintaining the immediacy of documentary photography.

Brightly illuminated fossil fuel stations, photographed through a car window in record precipitation—global warming come full circle?