is the best word to describe the remarkable images photographer Patrick Tierney captures while roaming around his native Los Angeles.

Mainly in the dark.

Many of his subjects project a kind of glow from the inside.

Makes me think of the creepy Tom Waits song: What’s He Building In There? Often featured, something I love, vernacular signage.

Pat Tierney knows every inch of South Bay in general and Torrance in particular, Quentin-Tarantino territory. He has talked about how he was inspired in his youth in a conversation he had with Eric Saks, his co-director on the amazing film Don From Lakewood. “When I was a child, I had these vivid memories of atmosphere and mood, just these pleasurable memories of place and time when I was alone.”

“I was an infant, and I was in my crib on the front drive. My mom was washing dishes watching me. The wind was coursing through this stand of bamboo. For some reason, it was so pleasurable, I never forgot it, and I think of it even now.”

About walking home from school: “All the fathers’ cars were at work, and the streets were empty. If you can look at it from today’s perspective, it looked like an empty movie lot, the whole neighborhood. In the middle of the day it was long shadows and houses, sterile, new tract homes, lit by these long shadows. There were Japanese gardeners silently working in the flower beds, and I would see one or two. Just this whole quietude, no cars on the street. The mothers were all inside doing housekeeping. It struck me, it was ecstatic.”

A lot of his current work focuses on light industry or fast food places or gas stations.

But also questionable residential areas.

Don’t know about you, but I find the images thrillingly mysterious.

“These scenes are silent and lonely,” he says. “It’s this sweet quietude.”

Someone give this man a show, or publish his work, or something! He deserves it.

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Filed under Jean Zimmerman

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