Snapshots of a punk history at the 4th Street Vine

BY: MAYRA CASTRO

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As a first time visitor at the 4th Street Vine, it was a pleasant surprise to see how the best of two worlds, alcohol and art, came together in one.

As soon as you enter and encounter walls covered in photographs, you’ll instantly feel attracted towards them.

The simple, yet modern décor and open layout of the bar allows visitors to feel welcomed and comfortable. Five minutes in, you catch yourself thinking, “I can come back again, sometime.” It almost looks like the kind of place that you can visit any day of the week with friends and catch up over a few beers.

With the exception of a few light bulbs attached to the wooden beamed ceiling, daylight illuminates everything within.

Behind the bar, two vintage-looking refrigerators with clear doors house bottled beers making it easy for customers to see what is available for thirst quenchers.

While the Beer and Wine bar usually features some sort of art exhibit, it is easy to get distracted by the floor. Patches of red paint remain on the concrete floor contrasting against the yellow wall from which some the photographs hang. The worn out appearance of the floor makes one wonder how many others have stepped foot in the bar.

According to owner Jim Ritson, exhibits are not always of photographs. In the past sculptures and paintings, among others have been hosted. Exhibits rotate every two months.

72 photographs that form part of the current exhibit, titled “Snapshots from the Epicenter Installation no. II.” Across the yellow wall, colored and black and white photos contrast beautifully against the brick wall that runs through the entire right side of the building.

The photographs are clipped around the entire establishment by thread that has been tied from top to bottom against the yellow, light blue, and brick walls. Taken by L.A. Record Truck owner Kirk Dominguez and Jenn Kitner, the photographs capture the individuals in their mutual love for punk music.

Each photo captivates the scene in a way in which you forget that you are standing in a bar. For a second, you think you hear the laughter of the three women in white fringe dresses posing for the photograph titled, “The Champanties,” which was taken at the Spruce Goose in 2010.

The photographs capture 30 years of the LBC PNX from 1984 to 2014, but it is hard to tell in what year each was taken unless you look closely at the description of each.

Looking around at the photographs all of them could be mistaken as being taken around the same time. At first glance, there is no clear indication that in some cases some of these photos were taken merely two months ago.

One wonders that perhaps, that was the intention of the photographers. There is a combination of both posed and candid shots. Some of the photographs are bordered by undeveloped film track.  Many of the photographs were taken during shows and capture bands playing on stage, while others represent the punk fashion of the time.

The array of photographs makes even those unfamiliar with punk appreciate the genre, because each photograph depicts the subject’s passion for punk music.

Whether you are a fan of punk music or not, everyone should take the opportunity to visit the exhibit at the 4th Street Vine at 2142 E. 4th Street, which will be held until May 5.