Notes on Photo L.A. 16 - 2007
By Jean Ferro
Volume XXVII, No 2 Feb 10. 2007
(text permission granted by The Photographic Collector)
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 collecting market.
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
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!
The Luminous-Lint 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
Griffith's 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 Getty Museums 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
John Cleary / Houston,
TX showed vintage 20th-century work as well as the unique contemporary
photographer Maggie Taylors beautifully printed inkjet prints.
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 "Decisive
Moments," 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
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 prints.
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 Warhol
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 photography.
Nice to see the Czech Center
of Photography / Praha, Czech Republic, a private institute
founded in 1984, return again exhibiting Frantisek Drtikol and
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 since 1976.
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 books.
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 photo.
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 and publications.
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.
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 exhibit.
LACMAs Interim Photo
Director, and Executive Director of the No-Strings
Foundation, 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.
Ferro Photo Artist / President, Women In Photography International
The Photograph Collector: photo l.a. 16- 2007
RANDOM NOTES 2007, volume XXVII No. 2, Feb. 10, 2007 (paper newsletter)
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