Los Angeles just finished a five day celebration of all things photography at Photo LA: The 21st Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica. It’s an event that brings together galleries, private dealers and publishers, photographic artists, collectors, and anyone interested in photographic images. In addition to the many in booth exhibitions, Photo LA offered lectures, panels, book signings, and special installations. Stephen Shore, Eileen Cowin, Catherine Opie, and Ken Gonzales-Day offered lectures, along with many other well know names in photography.
This year there was a big emphasis on photo books, with many booths featuring artists books. Raymond Meeks/dumsaint editions shared his journals and books for a second year, and Liz Steketee’s work was featured in a number of booths, including Material Press & Steketee Books. LA Artist Book Arts showcased artist books by Ching Ching Cheng, Meg Madison, Charlene Matthews, and Susan Sironi.
Liz Steketee at Material Press
Liz Steketee at the Stephen Cohen Gallery
There were two names that were very much in evidence: Moby and Vivian Maier. Both artists had small exhibitions in the lobby of the show, and Moby also had work and a book in the DAP booth. I attended his lecture on Saturday and was very much impressed by his intelligence and philosophy about image making.
Image by Hannah Kozak
Moby at his lecture and book signing
Whenever I attend a large art or photo fair, I take the time to see what’s new, what’s selling, how things are framed, what sizes are artists exhibiting, and what are the trends. This year was somewhat conservative–only a few massive large scale color images, plenty of black and white and sizes that were easily collectable. A few artists were printing on plexiglass, but much of the work was traditionally framed.
Saturday morning, before the event opened, Weston Naef conducted a Docent Tour. Weston Naef is the Curator Emeritus, Dept. of Photographs, The J. Paul Getty Museum and has recently written a book Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs (J. Paul Getty Museum 2011). He started the tour in the Northern Light Gallery (Denmark).