Click, Push: Sam Muller’s License to Los Angeles

The Skater Turned Photographer Captures His Hometown Stomping Grounds

    For a city filled with as many broken dreams as cars on the road, growing up in Los Angeles was extremely normal for Sam Muller. “I never felt like I was in the wrong place,” the California-based photographer says. Spending his youth skating through the city, Muller wasn’t lured by the distractions of Hollywood’s doorstep.

    Rather, he was intrigued by its eccentric blend of people and culture—exploring every corner of the globe amid L.A.’s contrasting neighborhoods. Despite endless encounters with law enforcement, super-citizens, and private security, Muller roamed his home turf inside and out. Clearly, it’s paid off. His perspective of the city is optimistic, making even the most unlikely places—like a newsstand and a bench (which he has tattooed on his arm)—feel like home. Capturing eight of his go-to destinations, Muller takes SSENSE on a photo tour of the city.

    Stop One: To Take a Moment
    “Thinking Bench,” Hollywood Hills

    “This is a bench in the neighborhood I grew up in that I sit on when I'm having a bit of a creative block. The area was developed in the 1920s and has a nice view of Hollywood.”

    Stop Two: To Play a Game of Pick-Up

    Hazard Park, 2230 Norfolk St

    Stop Three: To Grab a Friendly (and Flavorful) Bite

    Kismet, 4648 Hollywood Blvd

    Stop Four: To Stock Up on Skate Supplies

    Kingswell, 4651 Kingswell Ave

    Stop Five: To Catch Up on the Scoop

    Centerfold International News, 7206, 716 N Fairfax Ave

    “This is where I go to get all of my magazines. It’s one of the best newsstands that's still alive.”

    Stop Six: To Scope Out the Shows (and Hide Out in the “Storage” Rooms)

    Fahey Klein Gallery, 148 North La Brea

    Stop Seven: To Pay Mom a Visit

    LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd

    “Growing up, I was always in the galleries and offices here. My mom has been a curator for the museum for over 30 years so it feels like a second home.”

    Stop Eight: To Hop the Fence and Skate at Sunset

    Gardner Street Elementary, 7450 Hawthorn Ave

    “Michael Jackson went to school here when he was 11. It's been featured in countless skate videos throughout the ages and is one of the last skate-spots in L.A. that you can go to on any given Saturday or Sunday and expect to see a bunch of friends.”

    • Photography: Sam Muller