About the Project

What does real life look like in Los Angeles? To those of us who live here, it’s not just the stars on Hollywood Boulevard. Life in Los Angeles is a city that’s spread out over a huge area, filled with a glittering mosaic of people from all over the world, meaning there are a million little stories that are being told every minute of every day. Today, the Renzo Piano-designed dome at LACMA rises; not long ago, the silent theatre fell. It’s a constant metamorphosis. And Los Angeles is full of characters you won’t see on a TV or movie.

Rocco Ceselin arrived in this city in 2005, and has created an archive of the people and places he feels truly represent what it’s like to live in Los Angeles. He constantly seeks to pull back the curtain on what reallyis, whether he shows up downtown at 6:30 in the morning before the streets are full of bustle, or whether he finds himself in the middle of a vibrant parade, like Pride Week or Chinese New Year. He seeks tips from local authorities and strangers alike, because everybody here knows a corner of the city that’s unspoiled by tourists.

This project is meant to show you these gems, to show you a city that’s always changing, and that there is always something wonderful to discover if your eyes are open.

Rocco Ceselin was born in Northeast Italy and lived there until he was 30. He moved to San Francisco in 2002 to learn English, and used his background in graphic design to do design work and photography for wineries in Napa and Sonoma. He moved to Los Angeles in 2005, and has lived in Hollywood, the Pacific Palisades and now, West Hollywood. Since he has been here, his work has shifted to full-time photography – particularly commercial and lifestyle. When he’s not shooting for work, Rocco’s lens tends to drift toward observations on how the city has changed. This project is an archive of those observations.


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