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 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 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 at the Halsted Gallery booth, but alas, I didn't get a Bill print. Instead I bought a beautiful print from another PT printer named Ryuijie. What sold me was my conversations with the sellers. The lady at Gallery 19/21 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 I saw Kerik's 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. Check out his website, he's got wonderful images.
There were three exhibits that we spent some time sifting through photographs:
Lots of stuff to sift through.
- Winter Works on Paper had cyanotypes to mug shots stapled to fingerprints
- The charmingly named Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery
- Select Vernacular/Norman Kulkin had their selection of vintage pics very well categorized.
We came across 21st Editions. 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? 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:
The Jenkins Johnson Gallery 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 and Gerald Forster.
- I will be attending Mona kuhn's lecture on Saturday about her soft environmental nudes
- Michael Kenna's 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 by Nancy Rexroth
- I bought a book (Hong Kong Yesterday) and print (Contraversy) combo in a clamshell portfolio by Fan Ho, who's work I have always loved, from Modernbook
- Michael Eastman's images of Cuba
- Sze Tsung Leong had stirring cityscape images
My friend bought a George Tice print from Peter Fetterman Gallery for her husband.
Picture Photo Space 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. I remember last year, Gregory Colbert 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.