Photography by Ira Gardner | Torrance Oil Refinery

Oil Refinery, Torrance CA 2012

When I lived in Los Angeles as a child I was in awe of the oil industry.  There are oil wells, refineries, and oil tankers that travel in and out of the harbor.  When I was a kid an oil tanker exploded sending up a huge mushroom cloud and shattering all of the glass storefront windows along Gaffey Street.  My father's window was the only one not to break because he had put a plywood painted sign behind the glass.

Anyway, I am drawn to the banal scenes of industry much like the Dusseldorf school of photography and the New Objectivity movement in Germany between the two world wars. I am interested in making the connection between our personal lives and our industrial demands.