Finders Are Keepers at Photo Extravaganza This Weekend
When the 2007 installment of PhotoLA gets underway at the
Monica Civic Center on Thursday night, more than 65 of the
photographic galleries will be toting their wares. Adorning the walls of the makeshift
galleries will be imagery from the likes of Dianne Arbus,
Harry Callaghan, Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao
Salgado, and Edward Weston. Between
January 19 and 21, connoiseurs of fine photography can not only
walk amongst the photographs crafted by such luminaries, but also
walk home with one or two of them.
Take a booth like the Peter Fetterman Gallery for
example. Operating from his Los Angeles gallery space, Fetterman
has been one of the leading west coast photographic dealers for
over 15 years. He has been part of PhotoLA since its inception and
has bought to the fair photographs from his hand-picked register of
classic artists. Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson,
Elliott Erwitt, and John Szarkowski are
some of the photographers whose work has so graceful decorated his
stall over the years.
The other Los Angeles-based photographic heavyweight who is an
intrinsic part of PhotoLA is the Stephen Cohen Gallery.
Cohen is actually the instigator of the print fair and has also
maintained a significant presence throughout its evolution. While
Peter Fetterman concentrates on classic photographic artistry,
Cohen can always be counted on for unearthing some of the more
exciting contemporary practitioners. Names like Pavel
Banka, Geoffrey Fricker, and Judy Gelles
are might not be ones instantly familiar, but you will be hearing
much more of in the future.
Some of the international galleries participating in this year’s
event include the Czech
Center for Photography, London’s Hackelbury Gallery, and Galerie Esther Woerdehoff from
Paris. Just as these galleries are here to expose their roster of
artists to the United States, other galleries are intent of
offering American artists to the world. For not only does PhotoLA
attract private collectors from the world over, it is also an
annual port of call for curators from the world’s leading public
and private collections.
Santa Barbara will again be represented by both gallery and
artist. The work of motor sports photographer Jesse Alexander,
who recently had an exhibition in the gallery space at Samy’s, is
represented by the Peter Fetterman Gallery. And photography dealer
and former museum curator Carole Thompson will again be
offering classic imagery drawn from her vast holdings documenting
the historical American South. Thompson also maintains a collection
of vintage prints by Lewis Hine.
As part of their annual proceedings, PhotoLA also stages an
lecture series. This year’s lectures will include photographers
Jim Goldberg and Mona Kuhn discussing their recent work as well
a collecting-orientated series featuring
Virginia Heckert from the photographic curatorial staff of the
J Paul Getty Museum and curator, editor, and author
Yet no matter how insightful the talks are, nothing quite
compares to the photographs themselves. And while you don’t have to
be a collector to appreciate fine photography, by wandering
PhotoLA, you will no doubt soon be inspired to become one.
The Details: PhotoLA 2007 goes down this
weekend, Friday January 19 through Sunday, January 21, at the Santa
Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street, in Santa Monica. See
photola.com for info.