Summer time usually brings a galleries “permanent collection” out from storage, as many folks aren’t staying inside looking and purchasing art.
But there are always some gem events out there that get you out of the flip-flops, and shift your mind set.
This weekend in Los Angeles, there were 2 events that we attended on Saturday, and we’ll share them, not to say “hey, that was cool”, but perhaps get you thinking about other things and future plans. And even things in the past.
We went from an exhibit of vernacular photography, curated by one of our favorite photographic…historians?…researchers?…hmmmmm…..anyway, her name is Babbette Hines. Well, not sure how to catagorize her, but she has an innate sense of the historical, near anthropological nature, of photography in our lives.
She deals it out to us in a very comfortable form. Nothing clinical, nor judgmental, but familiar.
Her first collection was called Photobooth, which we love, but it has sadly gone out of print.
A collection of random people’s photographs, found in every flea market and yard sale, telling the tale of that moment. You know the photos: the single strip of 4 poses and at least one would have a contorted face, designed to make you smile. Many times, multiple folks would pile in the booth to make sure that they would remember their moments.
It still goes on, but Babbette’s sensibility gave us a shared memory in book form. Yes, you may remember we gave one of these away awhile back. It’s gained in value, too.
This same style has been brought to one of our favorite, eclectic stores in Los Angeles, OK, in a 1st time gallery exhibition in the space called “You’re not The Boss Of Me” about women going their own way.
She has collected a number of these vernacular images, and in an organic type of showing, placed them onto shelves normally reserved for books. As one image sells, it is replaced by another.
We urge you to check out this store online and see what they offer. Larry, the owner, said that since he is not a bookstore, he is not beholden to anyone to carry specific books, so you will find one of the best ranges of photography books we have seen in a very long time. Along with one of kind household items. Yeah, we know. Crazy. Crazy GOOD!
And visit Babette Hines site, FoundPhoto, where you will find some perfect examples of the genre and see when an exhibit may be coming to you.
We then moved down the road to the Annenberg Space for Photography, where after a day long workshop, Steve McCurry, famed National Geographic photographer, presented a slide show of most iconic work. Of course he included the tale of this, his most famous photograph of the Afghan girl, whom he rephotographed 17 years after her portrait graced the cover of National Geographic.
While describing the situations that surrounded his photography, he had an almost cavalier attitude, but we suspect it was more about his on-stage persona, although he did admit to being a hard taskmaster with his assistants.
Here is a vid from youtube as he is interviewed in a Kodak “moment”.
His use of color is phenomenal, and, as his favorite film stock was Kodachrome, he will be the shooting the very last roll of Kodachrome to come off of the Kodak line.
Of course not all at once.
He plans to have it live in a camera and take it around to his assignments and shoot frames as he sees the appropriate subject.
One thing he pointed out though, is that he feels that every color image must be able to work in B&W to be successful. Perhaps because it used to be that you may not know if an image would be finally published in color or B&W, depending on the editor and stories needs.
He also leads weekend workshops, so you may want to check on his site for more info on that.
And he was signing books at the end of the lecture, which were oversized (15.5″ x 11″), horizontal, beautifully printed, tomes which did not have any photographs in the gutter!!!
Thank you Mr. McCurry for not cutting off your photographs. Whew. Always feel that you should either make the book bigger or the images smaller. Why dissect a photograph in to the center binding of a book?
So there you have it. A day in LA, with hopefully, enough links to get you started looking at some of the subject matter we discussed.
Oh, and if you are planning a trip to LA, check out the list of speakers and events at the Annenberg. It limited, but free, so get your name in there.