Photographer captures beauty alongside the grit in San Pedro

IMG_1444When 27-year-old artist Tim Maxeiner moved to California, he wanted to live by the water. However, it didn’t take long for the German native, who grew up reading surf magazines, to realize how pricey that arrangement would be.

So Maxeiner got out a map, got on the 110, and made his way to a more affordable landing pad: San Pedro. It was a fortuitous decision. The historic port district has proved inspirational, and shown him a slice of Los Angeles many locals never bother to see.

Over these last two years, he’s wandered the streets, the back alleys, chatted up the locals, with camera in hand. Cars and street racers are of particular fascination.

One important breakthrough came when he chanced upon the city’s historical archives. Poring through folders of thousands of photographs of the San Pedro of old, he was struck by how similar and yet how different the landscape was.

He was also inspired. A new show, Second Thoughts San Pedro, is a series of videos and photographic juxtapositions that riff on historic stills.

“A lot of people in Germany say there’s no culture in America,” he said, gesturing to a gallery filled with people. “Look at this here. We have street racers next to historians.”

As for the naysayers elsewhere in the city who’ve never set foot in his adopted comunity, Maxeiner says: “I would say come down here and find out for yourself. Some people might not like it. That’s why in a city like LA, there’s room for everyone.” He said he’s found, as many Europeans who come to southern California do, that anything is possible here–just even more so in San Pedro.

Second Thoughts San Pedro on display at Cornelius Projects in San Pedro through March 1st, Saturday afternoons and by appointment.


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Photo by Tim Maxeiner
Photo by Tim Maxeiner
Photo by Tim Maxeiner



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  • Kyle Mc.

    Went to the opening of Tim’s show. This was an excellent exhibit. He did a great job at capturing the contrast between San Pedro now, and then.

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    There was a great mix of people that rolled in for the opening night. This artwork is from the left i.e. it's about and for all the people. Take a little trip ~to San Pedro.

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    26 years ago we moved to California and landed in San Pedro and its true it's magical, unique town with the most amazing history and a melting pot of culture living together, if you are from San Pedro, always always will be from Pedro.

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