MOPLA: Marjorie Salvaterra

Looking at photographers and exhibitions featured in The Month of Photography in Los Angeles.

The first time I met Los Angeles photographer,Marjorie Salvaterra, I wasn’t prepared for the power of her work. She is fine boned and petite, with a grin and a pixie cut. I never imagined that the striking black and white imagery she started while on bed rest with her first child would evolve into her first solo exhibition at the Clark | Oshin Gallery in conjuction with the opening night of The Month of Photography in Los Angeles. The reception will take place at Pier 59 Studios West located next to the Santa Monica gallery complex, Bergamot Station, from 7-10pm.

The exhibition will also run June 1 – July 7, at Clark | Oshin Gallery at The Icon, 5450 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.

Marjorie was born in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Her interest in all things theatrical began a transformation from acting to photography after playing the leading role in “The Faculty Lounge,” a black and white film by the late photographer, Herb Ritts. Her early interest photography was rekindled and never looked back.
Marjorie’s work has been well exhibited including Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France; “Classic Camera Show,” Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco; MOPLA Group Show, Los Angeles; “Contrast LA,” at A&I Gallery, Los Angeles; “Alternative Photography,” at Julia Dean Gallery, Venice, California; and the “Human + Being” show at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Marjorie’s images reveal “a fine line between sanity and insanity,” according to Virginia Heckart, Associate Curator of Photography at The Getty Center. I’ve always been fascinated by human psychology. When most girls were reading Judy Blume, I was reading the DSM. It lists all the psychological disorders and their symptoms. Diagnosis is made on the number of symptoms. And yet, it is easy to go through the list of symptoms for the various disorders and think, ‘that could be me.’ Are we all a little crazy — at least at certain moments in our lives? Is it nurture vs. nature? Some believe people are either born sane or insane.

Others believe we are all born perfect and it’s the things that happen in our lives that damage us. I tend to believe the latter. In each portrait, I am looking for that line in each person: the part of ourselves that we tend to hide, the part that scares us, the part that is usually saved for the people closest to us – the ones that know our secrets.