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.

Los Angeles's Abandoned Sofas

Los Angeles's Abandoned Sofas

Los Angeles's Abandoned Sofas