About the exhibition

Growing Up: LA, Friends & Memories is a visual diary of youth created by a 4th-year Las Fotos Project student, Andrea Flores, which initially began as a zine documenting the day in the life of a teenage girl growing up in Los Angeles. When trying to define what “growing up” truly meant, Andrea looked to her past, the people she met along the way, and the feeling of wanting to better herself both physically and mentally. The project evolved past “just another day in the life” to a visual testament of youth. One that captures the exploration of her community, the places she calls home, the exciting connections made, and the friends that have become her chosen family.

In this exhibition, Andrea highlights a community where she has the freedom to be who she is. Guided by the concepts of nostalgia, cruising, and skateboarding and inspired by the music and aesthetic of the ’80s and ’90s, Andrea uses film photography to capture the urban landscape and fleeting moments among youth in Los Angeles. Her use of texture and movement alongside personal journal entries depict youth in full bloom; capturing the feelings of rebellion and adrenaline shared between friends.

Growing Up takes you on through Andrea’s daily expeditions filled with both longing wonder and steadfast connections. As she cruises the spaces she belongs to via trains, cars, and skateboards, she provides an insider look at the rituals, tender bonds and unique identities of LA subcultures. These seemingly simple mementos are moments in time engrained in her memory, which are opened up to us, the viewer, to absorb and reflect on the places we are from and the people we’ve connected with.

About the artist

My name is Andrea Flores, and I am a first-generation Latinx darkroom and event photographer. Starting my photographic career within the digital era and later transcending into the darkroom, my work depicts what it is like to be a teenager in Los Angeles. I connect my professional work and personal projects with the use of movement in them and by using a photojournalistic and intimate approach. My past clients include Word Agency, LACMA, LA84, The Children’s Clinic, and many more. For me, photography is not just a hobby; it is documenting every precious moment that we do not want to forget.

My biggest inspiration would have to be the 1980s and 1990s. I have always been drawn to be like the artists of those eras. The time period became a calling for me because I grew up watching the movies, reading the magazines and listening to the music that emerged from those years. I portray my work as if I, myself, was living at that moment.

Growing Up Playlist

Recommended tunes for maximum exhibition enjoyment, curated by Andrea Flores!

Hover over each image to read the caption or click to view as a slideshow.

This exhibition was made possible thanks to the support of the S Mark Taper Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, Horace Goldsmith Foundation, Crail-Johnson Foundation, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Herb Ritts Foundation, Vernon CommUNITY Fund, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, California Arts Council, Edward A and Ai O Shay Family Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and the Yerba Buena Fund …

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