Los Angeles’s Abandoned Sofas

The sofas are filthy, ugly, out of place — and oddly poignant.

Discarded sidewalk furniture is a fixture in Los Angeles. But for Andrew Ward, a photographer, they’re more than just trash.

His project “Sofas of L.A.” began five years ago as a hobby on Instagram. Since then, it’s grown into an obsession and led to international exhibits and plans for a book later this year.

“Most people who live in L.A., when they see a photograph of an abandoned sofa, to them it’s like, ‘Oh, my God. I know exactly’ — they can’t get the words out,” he said. “Because they understand it.”

Abandoned couches are not unique to Los Angeles. But their ubiquity has made them in a way synonymous with the city.

A sanitation spokeswoman, Heather Johnson, said she couldn’t immediately provide figures on sofa removals. But she said more than 30,000 tons of “bulky items” were collected in scheduled pickups in 2016.

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