One of my favorite posters on my Instagram feed goes by @ataritacos. He’s got a great eye for grittiness and a special affection for Fairview, or as he hashtags it, #thepeoplesrepublikoffairview. He has a way with making decay look beautiful, and an artist’s obsession with abandoned couches (#couchblog). I wrote him recently. His real name is Adan Hernandez. He’s 36 years old. When not cruising his neighborhood by bike, looking for things to photograph, he helps out at his family’s taco shack, Oscar’s Taco Grande down by Anchorage jail. (It is delicious, btw, go there for lunch.) Here are some of his favorite snaps:
I asked him what he thinks about when he’s making a picture, this is what he had to say:
“I’ve been a citizen of The People’s Republik of Fairview for eleven years. I started calling it that in 2006 when I went to Ireland and ripped it off from “The People’s Republic of Cork” . My two great loves are bicycling and snapshots. It’s probably annoying to ride with me because I’m usually either sprinting or stopping to take pictures.
Why couches? I’ve always had a place in my heart for obsolete technology. Record players, VCRS, laser discs, beta max, my NES. This love has come to include people’s discarded items that I see when I bike or walk around my neighborhood or journeys elsewhere. The couches really have a lot of personality. They were basically someone’s silent roommate for who knows how long. When you see them out on the curb it’s a little like seeing a peek into that person’s life.”
Here’s a selfie, taken at The Polar Bar. Find more of his work here.