Former 'Nam medic Anthony Hernandez spent the majority of the '70s saving an entirely other kind of life: the humdrum doldrums of normality in the greater metropolitan Los Angeles area. Along with photographers Lewis Baltz and Terry Wild, Hernandez captured a Los Angeles in repose, its fallen face looking much like that of a person who doesn't realize someone is staring at them. Hernandez discusses Rodeo Drive, 1984, his scenic triptych across 96 pages of 41 images of sunlit shoppers on Rodeo Drive. With text by the inestimable Ralph Rugoff (a formerly Weekly contributor), the book presents L.A. in the '80s and everything that implies: big hair, ludicrous uptight clothing and a peculiarly desperate zeal. They are images presented in the cold stark light of posterity, unveiling avarice and loneliness — will images of Los Angeles in 2012 fare much better, 30 years from now? Look on these works, ye mighty, and despair. Arcana Books on the Arts, 8675 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Thurs., Dec. 13, 6 p.m.; free, book is $60. (310) 458-1499,

Thu., Dec. 13, 6 p.m., 2012

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly