West Side by Javier Torok in West Los Angeles, California, USA

The photographs I have chosen are linked to the place where I live, West Los Angeles, in that their subject matter depends on it. For the most part, though, I try to remove “place” from my images because I feel it can be a distraction from what I am trying to achieve, which goes beyond subject matter. On the one hand, the images are tied to my location in that they could not have been taken anywhere else, while on the other hand, my images are meant to appear “place-less.”

Name:Javier Torok

Freelance Art director



Tell us about the place you live:

I consider West LA everything west of the 405 freeway. It’s a great place to have as home base. We have beaches, hills, industrial zones, suburbs — anything you would want as a visual person, all in driving distance and with reasonable traffic. The ocean in West LA can also bring in fog and clouds, which the rest of the city, with its generally consistent weather, does not get to experience. I’ve had the opportunity to live in many different cities so I can say that this place is pretty special. I’ve called it home for the past two years.

A perfect day?

A bike ride around Venice, lunch at CCC and then head to Arcana to buy some books, ride bike for a little longer and finally dinner with Michelle in Korea town.

What is the best thing about your spot?

In just a short drive, you find areas that look completely different from one another. The best thing has to be the constant change of scenery.

What is the worst?

June Gloom is the worst. It depends on the year but it can be two weeks to two months of consistently overcast weather.

What would be surprising about this place to an outsider?

How big it is.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Lately I’ve been looking at Mamma Andersson and David Hockney, but I always have Wolfgang Tillmans, William Eggleston and Gerhard Richter books around.




Name:Javier Torok

City:Los Angeles

Favorite place to eat:

Sakura House

Favorite place to drink:

Cora’s Coffee Shop

Favorite shop:

Arcana Books

Local Tip:

Get on a bike

Must Do:

Wake up early and walk down the Venice boardwalk.