Notes on Photo L.A. 16
By Jean Ferro
Volume XXVII, No 2 Feb 10. 2007
(text permission granted by The Photographic Collector)
Famed rock icon Graham Nash hosted the opening
reception of this year's Photo LA, the 16th
Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition, benefiting
the Elton John AIDS Foundation. (Graham also hosted the first
Photo LA show 16 years ago.)
Photo LA brought together a rich palette of galleries from around the
globe. Over 6,000 people enjoyed the four photo-packed days of exhibits
at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Many notable photographers as
well as emerging artists were showcased in this fast-growing photography
Exhibitor and artist installations ranged from masters of the 19th &
20th century to the newest in contemporary art, including video, digital,
and mixed media work. Well-known curators, gallery owners, and artists
presented lectures, collecting seminars and panel discussions.
The Thursday evening opening benefit reception provided scrumptious
tasty treats from L.A.s best restaurants, an open bar and lots
of visual eye candy. Two double shots of Absolute Ruby Red Vodka cured
my desire to even think about the food!
booth was set up in the lobby with a large "SMART Board Interactive
display that provided viewers with an impressive showcase for
the Luminous-Lint.com history of photography website. Alan Griffiths
was animated as he led people from one section to another, pulling up
info about photographers, collections and prints.
came to Photo L.A. this year with the personal pursuit to reach galleries
and publishers. I produced a cool little 4"x5" 38-page booklet
printed in Italy, Jean Ferro self-portrait collection, 1974 thru
1996. The booklet is a sampler of the larger 9.5 x 13 mirror
covered limited edition book. The response was inspiring and energizing!
There is always so much to see, so over the next few days, I just followed
my instincts to check out whatever caught my eye or served my purpose.
Here is a selection of random notes.
I decided to take two of the Collecting Seminars. Held in the morning
prior to public hours, the intimate guided tours are led by experts
in the collecting field. Its a great way to see the art and gain
knowledge about both the galleries and their repertoire of artists.
The first seminar was Friday with Virginia Heckert who joined
the curatorial staff of the J. Paul
Department of Photographs in November of 2005, so we got a very Getty
style view of collecting. One of Virginia's favorites was a Charles
R. Savage albumen print, Yucca Brevifolia, Mojave Desert, at
Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc. / San Francisco, as were the daguerreotypes
found on the back wall of Alex Novaks Contemporary
Works / Vintage Works
/ Chalfont, PA.
At Stephen Daiter
/ Chicago I was happy to see Edmund Teske's work more visible and
gaining ground. Edmund himself always knew he was a collectible fine
art photographer. Daiter offers fine and vintage examples of important
American and European photography from the 20th century.
Both California-based Carl Mautz
Vintage Photographs / Nevada City, CA (vintage photography and
book distributor-specializing in historic photographs of California
and the West, nudes, plus photographs by Minor White to Milton Greene)
and Richard Moore Photographs
/ Oakland, CA (19th- and 20th-century fine vintage prints) had good
traffic and activity in their booths all weekend.
John Cleary /
Houston, TX showed vintage 20th-century work as well as the unique contemporary
photographer Maggie Taylors beautifully printed inkjet
The booth was constantly busy at Photo-Eye
Gallery / Santa Fe, NM. Along with showcasing their artists
and book publishing, they had a computer display to promote their new
VisualServer, a website management solution for photographers
and artists. They also represent Mona Kuhn who gave a lecture
about her new body of work, which revolves around metaphors of original
sin and raising questions about lost paradises and innocent
De Soto Gallery /downtown
Los Angeles gallery row, had a luminous, large 72"x96" c-print
by Trujillo-Paumier called Hot Cakes 1, 2000. Also from
the downtown L.A. scene, the Los Angeles
Center for Digital Art had a booth in the lobby. Other lobby
dwellers included the Queensland
Centre for Photography / Australia, Magnum
Photos / New York, Caracola Latin American Fine Art /
Los Angeles, and others.
First time Photo LA exhibitor, Picture Photo Space / Osaka, Japan,
established 1984, handles 20th-century and contemporary photography
(Sally Mann, Michael Kenna, and others). They exhibited
photographers Hiroshi Osaka and Kunihiko Katsumata. I
also caught a glimpse of another new exhibitor, Serge
Plantureux / Paris, vintage work. I was looking for the Galerie
Esther Woerdehoff /
Paris. Esther was a juror for the Women In Photography International
tribute to Cartier-Bresson exhibition.
founder of Photo
L.A. and ArtFairs Inc., positioned his gallery in the
very center back of the hall. It was a good location; his booth was
constantly busy. I once asked Stephen, how do you do it? and he said,
One day at a time. Stephen and his staff are totally amazing!
The lobby promo table was packed with goodies including Women In Photography
International collectibles 20th Anniversary CDs, printed materials from
Photo L.A., 2002, 03, and 04 as well as promotion for the WIPI
25th Anniversary, Turning Silver juried print collection exhibition.
I saw lots of sold red dots on the title tags at the booths,
and by Sunday, blank spaces where photos once hung as collectors carried
away their prizes. I don't recall seeing anything shocking or too weird.
There seemed to be a balance of B/W, color, digital and chemically produced
Gallery / Los Angeles was very noticeable, spread across two
booths in the center isle with large 5' x 3' and larger glossy photos
and backlight portraits: face shot photos by Martin Schoeller of Brad
Pitt, Jack Nicholson, and others...lots of "large" work stacked
warehouse-style leaning against walls and tables, and mounted on walls,
including a Dennis Hopper 1963 photo of smiling Andy
Winter Works on Paper / New York had floor to ceiling prints,
lots of early Rock & Roll including photos of Bob Dylan and Elvis.
They have an extensive inventory and are known for a wide range of subject
matter and genres of photography.
David Gallery / Culver
City, CA, originally called APEX Fine Art, has set up shop in Culver
City, expanded in size as well as scope to focus on masters of contemporary
Nice to see the Czech Center
of Photography / Praha, Czech Republic, a private institute
founded in 1984, return again exhibiting Frantisek Drtikol and Josef
One of my favorite contemporary photographers, Sebastião Salgado,
is handled by Peter Fetterman
/ Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA. The gallery specializes in classic
black and white photography and displays images in a salon-style atmosphere.
Also from Bergamot Station, L.A.'s notable The
Rose Gallery, who handles Graciela Iturbide among many
well known photographers. Another Bergamot Station gallery is the
Craig Krull Gallery with an emphasis on photo-based media
The next Collecting Seminar I took was Sunday with Mary
Virginia Swanson, consultant to the photographic industry and
contributor to many photographic publications. She is a strong advocate
for collecting the work of emerging and mid-career photographers; Swanny
shared insights about collecting new work as well as provided the group
with printed handout sheets of contacts, publications, and resources.
At one of our stops, she held up a copy of The Photograph Collector
as a key publication for those interested in collecting. One of her
favorites was John Clearys artist Maggie Taylor, as well as the
outside-of-the-box artists represented by Lisa
Sette Gallery / Scottsdale, AZ, who are more mixed-media-based
than straightforward photography. The two-hour power packed tour provided
us with a wealth of knowledge about artists, galleries and resources.
always a pleasure to see Susan
Spiritus Gallery / Newport Beach, CA, who works with private
collectors and corporate clients to enhance and establish their collections.
It has been Orange County's premiere gallery of fine art photography
A newcomer to Los Angeles, SCALO|GUYE
/ West Hollywood, CA, opened in April 2006 by Christopher Guye.
It's a very international, interesting gallery that exhibits both established
and emerging fine art photographers. It recently partnered with Lead
Apron, founded by Jonathan Schilder Brown, which offers and
assembles libraries of rare, collectible, and out-of-print art and photography
Yossi Milo Gallery
/ New York City featured artist Loretta Lux. I kept hearing the buzz
during the Collecting seminars about how three years ago a Lux print
sold for $2,000 and now the same print is worth $26,000. The gallery
has an eye for up-and-coming talent. Talk about a good investment. Forget
the stock market, invest in photography!
At The Etherton Gallery/
Tucson, AZ the Elliott Erwitt 1983 large silver gelatin print of nude
students with easels painting a clothed model was a memorable and fun
One of my favorites is Twin Palms
/ Twelve Trees Press /
Santa Fe, NM. For more than 20 years they have produced some of the
most beautiful photography and art books available. Due out Spring 2007
is The Adventures of Constantine Cavafy, Duane Michals, 9 x 13
Inches, 120 four-color plates, 112 pages. All the book publishers/distributors
including Nazraeli Press
/ Tucson, AZ, D.A.P / New
York, Schaden.com / Cologne,
Germany, and others were crowded hubs with enthusiastic buyers of books
The exquisite portfolios by 21st
Editions / South Dennis, MA were another highlight. They produce
handsomely printed platinum series fine press books in limited editions.
Due this spring, 21st has been granted permission to reprint one of
the greatest of American epics, Hart Cranes The Bridge,
along with 13 platinum prints of Sheila Metzners finest
and most luminous images of the Brooklyn Bridge and New York. It will
be limited to 60 signed and numbered copies, 13 signed platinum prints,
18 x 14 inches.
Charles Guice Fine Art Photography
/ Berkeley, CA showed Carrie
Mae Weems In De Sicas Light, 71"x60"
chromogenic print, edition of 10, from the series Roaming, 2006,
photographed in Italy.
I was thrilled to see Snow Crystal (Study V) by Doug and Mike
Starn who presented at Hackelbury
Fine Art / London. In the late '80s the Starn Twins were my
breakout inspiration to take photography out of the frame, explore and
experiment with no limitations a transition from photography
to photo art.
It was nice to see that Julian Cox, Curator of Photography, High
Museum of Art / Atlanta,
GA traveled in for the weekend. The
Gettys Weston Naef and Gordon Baldwin were ever
present, even L.A. art critic Peter Frank waltzed through the
Interim Photo Director, and Executive Director of the No-Strings
Tim Wride, was a panelist for a half-day Seminar defining your
relationship to your work, clarifying your personal and artistic objectives,
and determining your idea of success, which was moderated by Eric
Miles, photo-eye Books and
Prints. This seminar was produced by Center,
formerly the Santa Fe Center for Photography. (Center? Odd
name. The name Santa Fe Photography Center was an enchanting invitation
to visit the marvelous world of the southwest desert and adobe dwellings.
Not sure why they changed the name.)
A Night View of Los Angeles by photographer Helen K. Garber,
an ambitious 40-foot display of 20 different photographs digitally stitched
together as a composited 360-degree panorama, hung by the entrance.
Once again, photographers, collectors, curators, and galleries, congregated
to explore, share, sell, and expand the wonderful world of collecting
photography at Stephen Cohens 16th Photo L.A. (The list of exhibitors
is online at http://www.photolagalleries.com.
In the Photo L.A. 2007 exhibitor catalogue there is a wonderful memoriam
to Ruth Bernhard, (19052006), a B/W photo by Mona Kuhn of Ruth
standing posed in a sporty outfit, one foot on a Razor skate board,
with a wonderful bright-eyed girlish grin. Well remember her fondly.
Jean Ferro Photo Artist / President, Women In Photography International
Photograph Collector: photo l.a. 16- 2007
RANDOM NOTES 2007, volume XXVII No.
2, Feb. 10, 2007 (paper newsletter)
Photograph Collector: photo l.a. 18 - 2009
RANDOM NOTES 2009, volume XXX No.
2, Feb. 15, 2009 (paper newsletter)
Photograph Collector: photo l.a. 19 - 2010
RANDOM NOTES 2010,volume XXXI, No.
2, Feb. 15, 2010 (paper newsletter)
Photograph Collector: photo l.a. XX 2011
RANDOM NOTES 2011, volume XXXII,
No. 2, Feb. 16, 2011 (electronic PDF)
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