Photographer captures beauty alongside the grit in San Pedro

Written by

IMG_1444When 27-year-old artist Tim Maxeiner moved to California, he wanted to live by the water. However, it didn’t take long for the German native, who grew up reading surf magazines, to realize how pricey that arrangement would be.

So Maxeiner got out a map, got on the 110, and made his way to a more affordable landing pad: San Pedro. It was a fortuitous decision. The historic port district has proved inspirational, and shown him a slice of Los Angeles many locals never bother to see.

Over these last two years, he’s wandered the streets, the back alleys, chatted up the locals, with camera in hand. Cars and street racers are of particular fascination.

One important breakthrough came when he chanced upon the city’s historical archives. Poring through folders of thousands of photographs of the San Pedro of old, he was struck by how similar and yet how different the landscape was.

He was also inspired. A new show, Second Thoughts San Pedro, is a series of videos and photographic juxtapositions that riff on historic stills.

“A lot of people in Germany say there’s no culture in America,” he said, gesturing to a gallery filled with people. “Look at this here. We have street racers next to historians.”

As for the naysayers elsewhere in the city who’ve never set foot in his adopted comunity, Maxeiner says: “I would say come down here and find out for yourself. Some people might not like it. That’s why in a city like LA, there’s room for everyone.” He said he’s found, as many Europeans who come to southern California do, that anything is possible here–just even more so in San Pedro.

Second Thoughts San Pedro on display at Cornelius Projects in San Pedro through March 1st, Saturday afternoons and by appointment.