The 20th edition of PhotoLA has opened in Santa Monica with a few changes and lots that is very much the same.
We do love the event as it’s one of the only art fairs during the year to concentrate solely on photography in this area.
OK, THE only one.
Almost 60 dealers from all over the world have come to display and sell the 2D images we love so well.
On the surface, we found a ton or representation from China, and Sante Fe. ( yeah, we know. a diverse group)
Many images we’ve seen in the past, and some historical photographs that are new to these shores.
Photographers like Julie Blackmon, didn’t disappoint with her new series of work, represented by Photo-eye. Larger, darker, and deeper.
The editorial world was well represented as well, with iconic images of war, politics (there is a difference. we think), and more remembrances of momentus moments in history of the world.
Perhaps the split second of the aftermath of death may influence us to still be abhorred by it.
Not sure if it needs to hang on the wall.
The discovery of an organization like Women In Photography International, whose sole purpose is to help women photographers in every way around the world: Share, advise, promote and more. They even had an exhibit of members work, which was not for sale, but meant as a great public venue for their work.
One of the charter members, Carol Henry, showed off some cameraless imagery that was actually some of the coolest stuff we saw.
“For 25 years, Carol Henry has been creating one-of-a-kind imagery in the darkroom on cibachrome paper. She projects light through compositions directly on to the material and processes the cibachrome to reveal colorful, saturated, archival and oftentimes surreal images. Referred to as the cIbachrome Oâ€™Keeffe in one newspaper article because botanicals are a favorite subject, she prefers them not only because of their translucence but sensual and delicate form. Other images are made from seaweed, feathers, lace, glass and paper in combination to create varied abstractions. The scale of her work can reach 72â€ on cibachrome material as well, although most prints are 20×24â€. ”
21st Editions had some excellent platinum prints tipped into a book, by the late Herman Leonard.
We do love our silver halide prints and there was no shortage of the classic historical masters, and current masters. What we did miss were the discoveries like a Chris Verene, Loretta Lux, or Pieter Hugo. Even one of the Chinese photographers we gravitated to last year, came back with smaller, more affordable prints of the same work.
We did buy the $20 book, though.
One of the more fun series we saw was by Willy Rojas:
C,mon. Like the Joker said- “Why so serious?”
You are encouraged to spend good time here,though, and search though the stacks and really peruse the walls, and don’t be fooled by low hanging fruit: there is gold hidden in there.
Like at the Susan Spiritus Gallery, we saw a Robert Heinecken prime piece, that while way too high priced for us, was beautiful to see. It was on the back wall in the corner.
And there are flip stacks of images that may be front loaded with titilating images, but could be covering more gold in the middle or back of the pile.
The new economy is here to stay, and the number of galleries that came to play, belie the truth in the fine art world business. It’s not back yet.
So we feel it’s time to buy.
The fair is here til Sunday, complete with amazing talks, book signings and teaching lecture you should try to get to.
And if you don’t get your art on here, don’t worry: Art Los Angeles Contemporary is around the corner. All the arts will be represented there, and worth your time.
Some snaps from tonight:
And there was food.
So we’re not done yet. Going back on Saturday fro another look for the buried treasure.
we’ll let you know what we find. Or maybe we’ll see you there.