Erik Hagen

They Name a Street After Him
Location: New York, NY
Nationality: American
Biography: Erik Hagen is an American artist originally from Florida. His work has appeared in numerous group shows, both in the United States and internationally, and he was a selected participant in Review Santa Fe. He is interested in the ways in which... read on
Public Story
They Name a Street After Him
Credits: erik hagen
Updated: 02/02/17
Location: Los Angeles, CA

For six years, I drove a taxi in Los Angeles. These photographs were made during that time. Many of these images have been made behind the wheel, others while on foot or at home. As a group they represent my view of the city: one that is gritty, caustic, lit by the blinding sun and the incandescent lights of evening. Film noir visions of an everyday working life reveal neither beauty nor glamour but rather an endless sprawl of concrete and an unending battle with nature. Life there seemed lonely, desperate, a struggle I was in purgatory behind a wheel.

Since I left Los Angeles I began working on a number of short stories, which, like these photographs, are based in part on my experience as a taxi driver. The intention of these stories is to further develop the inner psychologies of people who live amongst the landscape described by the images. While the stories do at times relate to the images, they are not direct illustrations; rather they introduce the tempo of language, and fill in the shadows of the pictures.

Postscript, a meditation on Los Angeles and the practice of making art:

A man has a dream, he spends his capital to build it, and people don’t understand it. So he converts it to a sideshow and people love it, they name a street after him. A man sits in a car on that street, he has a dream but needs capital. Staring through the moisture he wonders at what point a man has to convert his dream to a sideshow.


By Erik Hagen —


Team Member

By Erik Hagen / Los Angeles, CA

The Ghost

By Erik Hagen

Where I'm Calling From

By Erik Hagen — I understand that the world is sad, but also strange and funny. But if I didn’t tell you that’s what..

Platitudes and Multitudes

By Erik Hagen / Wilmington, DE — Each of these images is a platitude, an empty expression that is pleasing to see. I borrow from the style of..

The Girlie Show

By Erik Hagen / Ybor City, FL — The Girlie Show Bigtop Burlesque, Ybor City, FL. "I try to create images on stage..

William Beaver House

By Erik Hagen / New York, NY — William Beaver House for Tsao & McKown Architects, New York, NY

Three Pieces Emily Moon

By Erik Hagen / Providence, RI — Three Pieces for Emily Moon

Tarzana Home Theater

By Erik Hagen / Los Angeles, CA — Tarzana Home Theater for Brentwood Audio Video Installations, Los Angeles, CA

Hidden Street

By Erik Hagen — If you make a full pot of coffee, and drink it alone over the course of a cold night, you may end up here...
Join us
for more access