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Santa Muerte (Holy Death)
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Peña, Leopoldo
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Leopoldo Peña's photograph series, "On Broadway," documents the changes resulting from the "Bringing Back Broadway," re-development project launched in 2008. Headed by Los Angeles City Councilman, Jose Huizar, "Bringing Back Broadway," is a ten-year plan to revitalize the Historic Broadway corridor between 2nd Street and Olympic Boulevard which includes the first and largest historic theater district listed in the National Register of Historic Places, with 12 movie palaces built between 1910 and 1931. Although, the intention of the "Bringing Back Broadway" project is to generate economic development and to preserve the historic theaters and vacant commercial spaces in the district, the project has also caused a shift in the demographics of the area and have been seen by some as gentrification. Peña's work captures these changes by concentrating on the individuals who inhabit, work on and pass through the avenue on a daily basis. His aim was to accentuate the individuals, who from an economic perspective are seen as less functional and thus removable. By giving importance and attention to the everyday people on Broadway, the architecture, while visibly changing, recedes into the background. The photograph series was developed from 2008 to 2013 and closely parallels Peña's participation with the calls for immigration reform which inspired his weekly and eventually monthly, hours-long wandering around Broadway Avenue. According to Peña, the series had its beginning in 2008 with a photograph of a homeless person taken during an immigration reform rally, and its end in 2013 with an image of an immigration reform sign left behind on Broadway, which signaled to him the end of the immigration reform movement and the last frame of the "On Broadway," series.
Reflection of a man in a wheelchair among Santa Muerte figurines. The photograph is taken off of a reflection on a window from the Farmacia y Botanica Million Dollar. The pharmacy specializes in spiritual and folk remedies and is located on the ground floor of the Million Dollar Theater building located at the corner of 3rd Street and Broadway.
1 photographic print :b&w ;28 x 36 cm.
Leopoldo Peña - Interlude on Broadway Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection
Santa Muerte--(Mexican deity)
Farmacia y Botanica Million Dollar (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Drugstores--California--Los Angeles
Display of merchandise--California--Los Angeles
Figurines--California--Los Angeles
People with disabilities--California--Los Angeles
Wheelchairs--California--Los Angeles
Men--California--Los Angeles
Pedestrians--California--Los Angeles
Pedestrian crosswalks--California--Los Angeles
Sidewalks--California--Los Angeles
Commercial buildings--California--Los Angeles
Streets--California--Los Angeles
Third Street (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Broadway (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Broadway Theater and Commercial District (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Downtown Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles Photographers Collection photographs
Leopoldo Peña--Interlude on Broadway Collection photographs

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