Larry Sultan, 63, a prominent fine-art photographer who repeatedly reached back to the Los Angeles of his youth to lyrically explore the dark side of the suburbs and the American dream, has died.

Mr. Sultan died Sunday of cancer at his home in Greenbrae, Calif., said Rebecca Boucher, his sister-in-law.

His work "consistently engaged the culture of Southern California," Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, said in 2004 when the museum presented The Valley, which documented how homes in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley were used as settings for adult films.

Despite his subject, the photos were relatively inexplicit.

Born in New York on July 13, 1946, Mr. Sultan moved to Los Angeles as a child with his parents.

After teaching high school art, he became a professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

- Los Angeles Times