View Full Version : Photo LA 2007 Report

01-20-2007, 09:19 AM
So my GF, my friend Alana and myself went to see this annual event in Santa Monica. According to the guide book, there were 65 exhibitors at the show this year, and if it is to be believed, it's the largest show of its kind in the US. Here are some of my observations with website links I have added where links existed:

ACE Gallery (http://www.acegallery.net/) had these HUGE pics that were 8 to 10 feet on the long side. Many of the images were close ups of famous celeb faces, others were heavily digitally manipulated images. I kept wondering, would anyone actually buy one of these at an art show? Seriously, who would want a 10 foot wide close up Jack Nicholson's face in their living room? Redrum, redrum, redrum, ....

Speaking of large images, Susan Spiritus Gallery (http://www.susanspiritusgallery.com/) had large images of really nice landcsapes; but I thought they were better suited to a camera club competition than to a fine art show - what the heck do I know.

Saw several of Bill Schwab's prints (http://www.billschwab.com/) at the Halsted Gallery (http://www.halstedgallery.com/) booth, but alas, I didn't get a Bill print. Instead I bought a beautiful print from another PT printer named Ryuijie (http://www.ryuijie.com/). What sold me was my conversations with the sellers. The lady at Gallery 19/21 (http://gallery19th21st.free.fr/) was fully dedicated to preserving photographs made from traditional techniques. Her gallery was very small and I just felt she was much more personable and less pretentious than the people at Halsted who gave me the impression they didn't think I could afford a print without a five finger discount.

At Studio 391 (http://www.studio391.net/) I saw Kerik's (http://www.kerik.com/) unique wet plate collodian on aluminium plates. I might go back today and get one for my parents. There was also work by Paul Kozal (http://www.paulkozal.com/). Check out his website, he's got wonderful images.

There were three exhibits that we spent some time sifting through photographs:

Winter Works on Paper (http://www.winterworksonpaper.com/) had cyanotypes to mug shots stapled to fingerprints
The charmingly named Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery (http://www.pdnbgallery.com/)
Select Vernacular/Norman Kulkin had their selection of vintage pics very well categorized.
Lots of stuff to sift through.

We came across 21st Editions (http://www.21stphotography.com/). These guys hand make portfolio books. These books were gorgeous and they are located in Cape Cod - Drew, maybe we can do a visit when we do our Cape Cod outing in the spring (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum139/32286-program-cape.html#post419972)? One can buy their entire collection of hand made books for a mere $350,000USD. I'm sure they'll take a cheque with two pieces of iD. ;)

Photos/photographers that piqued my interest:

I will be attending Mona kuhn's (http://monakuhn.com/) lecture on Saturday about her soft environmental nudes
Michael Kenna's (http://www.michaelkenna.net/) images of Hokkaido, Japan
Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti just had images I liked
Byung-Hun Min from Korea had lovely scenes of industrial sites and skylines
Anne Svenson's sock monkeys
Jeff Milstein took images of the underbelly of aircraft as they flew overhead around LAX
Images taken with a Diana camera (http://www.toycamera.com/cam/diana.html) by Nancy Rexroth
I bought a book (Hong Kong Yesterday) and print (Contraversy) combo in a clamshell portfolio by Fan Ho (http://www.modernbook.com/fanho.htm), who's work I have always loved, from Modernbook (http://www.modernbook.com/)
Michael Eastman's images of Cuba
Sze Tsung Leong (http://homepage.mac.com/szetsungleong/) had stirring cityscape imagesThe Jenkins Johnson Gallery (http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/) had DVD video boxes of scenes and subjects that to me were simply images that moved every now and then. These weren't movies, but literally moving pictures. I can't explain it. The exhibit also had works by Misty Keasler (http://www.mistykeasler.com/) and Gerald Forster (http://www.geraldforster.com/).

My friend bought a George Tice print from Peter Fetterman Gallery (http://www.peterfetterman.com/) for her husband.

Picture Photo Space (http://www.picturephotospace.com/) from Osaka, Japan had a very small Zen-like selection of images that had a peaceful air to their exhibit. I particularly liked the horizon images of Kunihiko Katsumata.

The only Canadian contingent at the show, besides us three - we're all Canadian - was a Jeff Wall book I saw at one of the book seller booths - DAP (http://www.artbook.com/). I remember last year, Gregory Colbert (http://www.ashesandsnow.org/) was everywhere. Must be a fad thing.

There were lots of digital images too, but I'll refrain from posting my observations on them here.

There was ample street parking ($0.75 per hour - 2hr max) and venue parking ($8). The canteen had lots of soft drinks, coffee, tea, juice, water and also a small selection of sandwiches, salads, soups, hot dogs and chicken fingers. The layout of the venue was tight in some areas and I can see this show out grow its space in the upcoming years.

Finally, when you buy a fine art photograph, hand made using a traditional process, for a thousand dollars or so at a fine art show from a fine art gallery and they give it to you in plastic grocery bag - well, it just doesn't seem right.

Regards, Art.

bill schwab
01-20-2007, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the great report Art! Spoke to Halsted yesterday who told me there was this guy hanging around that they thought might try to steel something... :)

...the people at Halsted who didn't seem to think I could afford a print without a five finger discount.I started going to their gallery when I was 16 complete with holes in my jeans and hair to my backside, they used to watch me like a hawk! In their defense, you'd be surprised how many prints have been stolen from that show.... all those shows. Halsted in fact had a huge theft once in Texas.

Thanks again for the report Art. I'll be talking to them again today and I'll pass along your assessment of them. Perhaps it will get them to lighten up a bit...


PS. BTW - Thanks! I padded your package with a couple extra prints for you. They shipped out yesteday. I appreciate the support.

Jim Noel
01-20-2007, 10:47 AM
Thanks for the report. We are leaving in a few minutes to attend this always interesting show.


Jim Chinn
01-20-2007, 12:54 PM
Wish I could attend. Thanks for the show review and all the links.

01-20-2007, 01:52 PM

Thanks for the great report. Now I wish I had gone...

bill schwab
01-20-2007, 04:20 PM
Now I wish I had gone...Me too! Maybe it can be an outing next year.


01-21-2007, 06:47 PM
As i'd never been to a photo show before, i didn't know what to expect. As with everything here, it was elbow to elbow through the whole place. Gustavo, Blaze-on, and i roamed the venue together. There were tons of galleries present and i think it was well worth the $20 to see all of them under one roof. Big prints! alot of 'em. Big cibachromes too, mostly of colorful doorways that we've all seen before.
I enjoyed the small prints very much. Kerik's, Bill Schwab's, Ryuijie's, Paul Kozal, and Rolfe Horn's prints are amazing specimens. Bill, they had your Robinson Road print on display. Nice to see it in person! I spoke with the Halsted guy for a second until he ditched me mid-sentence for someone else. I love when that happens.
Roman Loranc's prints are amazing! The sharpness and detail i'm a big fan of. Carlton Watkins' landscapes from the late 1800's were quite impressive. That's Archival!
It seemed like the prices were inflated to california's standards but many prints were being sold and that's a good thing for all of us. I've never leafed through bins of $5-$15,000 prints before.
I'd recommend the show to anyone who's in the area next year at this time.