SoCal PhotoExchange

In Focus: The Sky – an exhibition at the Getty Center Museum

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 31, 2011

Photos copyright by Joel Meyerowitz and John Divola

This exhibition runs through December 4, 2011

With its immensity, immateriality, and variability, the sky has been an enduring subject in art history, fascinating and challenging generations of artists.

As soon as the medium of photography was introduced in 1839, photographers attempted to represent the sky and its natural phenomena.

Atmospheric light and its constant mutability have always been hard to capture, but by the 1850s the greater light sensitivity of collodion negatives (compared to the daguerreotype and calotype processes) allowed the spectacles of the sky to be more easily transposed to photography.

With further technical improvements such as the development of instantaneous processes in the 1880s and the advent of Kodachrome color film around 1935, photographers have continued to explore this theme in diverse and imaginative ways.


Featured artists include Andre Kertesz, Joel Meyerowitz, John Divola, Gustave Le Gray, and Robert Adams.


Museum and exhibition information can be found at:

By Jim McKinniss

PASSED FORWARD: William Godfrey To Masood Kamandy at Steve Turner Contemporary

Posted in Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 29, 2011

Photo copyright by Masood Kamandy


Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present Passed Forward: William Godfrey to Masood Kamandy, a solo exhibition by Masood Kamandy that also introduces William Godfrey as the first view photographer of Los Angeles. Godfrey created over one hundred stereoview photographs of Los Angeles in the 1860s and 1870s, and Kamandy will transform some of these into three-dimensional objects.


In his work, Kamandy investigates the medium of photography by altering meaning and content through physical or digital manipulations. In past work, erasure shifted meaning, and in this project, he gives new meaning by transforming 2-D photographs into to 3-D objects. As the art history of Los Angeles is often thought to have started at the end of World War II, Kamandy’s project expands this history and reveals the ongoing fascination that contemporary artists have for Los Angeles’ past.

Born in Fort Collins in 1981 to Afghani immigrant parents, Kamandy earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York (2004) and currently is an MFA candidate at UCLA (2012). His work was included in Wet Paint 3: Six Young LA Artis ts, Steve Turner Co ntemporary,  Los Angeles (2011) and Seven Minutes in Heaven, Control Room, Los Angeles (2011).  


This exhibition runs September 10 through October 8, 2011

Steve Turner Contemporary, 6026 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 (across from BCAM at LACMA). Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am – 6pm, or by appointment.

By Jim McKinniss

Photos of Senator Barry Goldwater

Posted in Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 28, 2011

"Church Rock" photo copyright by the Goldwater Family Foundation

"Santiago" photo copyright by the Goldwater Family Foundation

"The Navajo" photo copyright by the Goldwater Family Foundation

Those  of you who are old enough to remember the name Barry Goldwater most likely remember him as the conservative Senator from Arizona who was soundly defeated by Lyndon Johnson in the Presidential campaign of 1964. My bet is that  few of you remember that Senator Goldwater was an accomplished photographer.

There is an article about Goldwater’s photography in the March, 2011 edition of RangeFinder magazine which is a quick and interesting read. You can also find more of Senator Goldwater’s photos at:

By Jim McKinniss

“Street Sight” exhibition at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena

Posted in Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 27, 2011

This photograph is copyrighted. Contact the Armory for copyright information.

This show ends September 11, 2011

Armory Center for the Arts is pleased to present a major exhibition of Southern California street photography from the late 1960s through early 1980s entitled, Street Sight. The exhibition, organized by curator Tim B. Wride, will be on display in the Armory’s Caldwell Gallery from Sunday, June 26 – September 11, 2011. Exhibiting artists will include Adam Bartos, Darryl Curran, Bevan Davies, John Divola, Judy Fiskin, Robbert Flick, Dennis Hopper, Graham Howe, Grant Mudford, Jane O’Neal, Marvin Rand, Seymour Rosen, Ed Ruscha, Julian Wasser, and Terry Wild. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated publication with a scholarly essay by the curator. An opening reception, free and open to the public, will take place on Saturday, June 25, from 7-9pm.

Street Sight takes into account the factors that contributed to the post-war shift in Southern California-based photography from imagery that was picturesque, imageoriented, and anecdotal in nature, to a more conceptually motivated style of representation and object-making that was decisively suburban, process-oriented, and experiential. The artists whose work is included in the exhibition have made a prepositional shift away from the description and distillation of activity and inhabitants that are seen on the street to an emphasis on those elements, extensions, and experiences that are not just of the street, but, of the street that is dominated, defined, and experienced by the automobile.

For artists Robbert Flick and Ed Ruscha, this resulted in a meditative celebration and typology, respectively, of the parking lot. Darryl Curran elevates the conflation of sexually charged imagery with the shapes and icons of gasoline stations into totems of a new potency. The typologies of Bevan Davies, Judy Fiskin, John Divola, and Seymour Rosen overlay economic and architectural  accumulations made possible by the car’s fluid access to broad geographies. Jane O’Neal’s saturated color imagery provides the experience of the street from within the car with carnivalesque garishness, while images by Marvin Rand and Julian Wasser use montage and time-exposure strategies to formally distill the motion of the street. Adam Bartos celebrates the two ends of the spectrum of road quality with his cinematic treatment of a freeway overpass and a hillside overlook. And, for Australian transplants Graham Howe and Grant Mudford the traces, boundaries, and borders of streets themselves elicited formal responses that underpin insightful psychological descriptions of both place and medium.

Street Sight is an examination of the quintessentially automobile-centric Southern Californian experience of place. This type of experience is distinguished from a “roadtrip” sensibility in so far as it is predicated on a day-to-day reliance on getting from place to place by car. For those in the region, the car is an indispensable appendage for accessing the flow of daily life; it is the tool through which they understand the spaces and map the environment in which they live. For artists in the region whose interests veered toward their understanding of “place,” this meant a reliance on new ways of contextualizing, cataloguing, codifying and transcribing their experience. Theirs was a pioneering moment that drew from the emergent sensibilities that informed New Topographics, embraced the unbridled nature of their artmaking community, and seamlessly internalized the unique street culture that cemented the disparate geographies of Southern California. Theirs was a new way of seeing, a different mode of experience, and a conceptually charged means of mapping that created a potent, postmodern approach to street photography.

“Street Sight” is on view in the Susan and John Caldwell Gallery at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91103.

Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday, noon-5pm. $5 suggested donation. Armory members, students, and seniors are free.

The Armory is easily accessible from the Gold Line Memorial Park Station in Pasadena.

For information about Armory exhibitions and events, please call 626.792.5101 x122. or visit the Armory website at



By Jim McKinniss

The photographs of El Porte-Bonheur are worth a look.

Posted in Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 27, 2011

Photo copyright by El Porte-Bonheur


As I have mentioned in the past, I see a lot of photos and every once in a while I like to highlight the work of various photographers whose work I admire. The photo above is by El Porte-Bonheur who is currently living in Torino, Italy.

Here is what El says about her photography:

I am a no-flashlight photographer out of conviction, specialized in b/w low light street photography, avoiding spectacular effects and elaborating my pictures with a minimum of layout and pp work.
I enjoy the process of visually creating an image, an emotion, and to communicate an idea or the story.

You can see more of El’s work at:


By Jim McKinniss

dnj Gallery presents “Storylines” by Benjamin Lowy and “Plastic Rose Series” by Anne Veraldi

Posted in Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 26, 2011

Photo copyright by Benjamin Lowy


Photo copyright by Benjamin Lowy


Photo copyright by Anne Veraldi


Photo copyright by Anne Veraldi

dnj Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition of “Storylines” by the International photojournalist Benjamin Lowy.  In Gallery II, we present “Plastic Rose Series” by Northern California artist Anne Veraldi.

In “Storylines,” Benjamin Lowy documents the conflicts of war.  His pictures illustrate the stress and anxiety in the contacts between U.S. soldiers and local civilians in the countries of Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Darfur. He seeks to put a human face on victims of disasters, by making images “that can ‘bridge’ the audience’s apathy towards certain subjects, and communicate an idea or reality.” Lowy produces panoramic images, using one roll of film, to overlap the facts, and create a story with his own personal commentary. On his imagery of Iraq, Lowy calls his accounts “… a window to a world where work, play, tension, grief, survival and everything in between are as familiar as the events of our own lives.”

This is Benjamin Lowy’s first solo show at dnj Gallery. His work has been exhibited at the SF Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, the Corcoran Museum, the Walker Arts Center and others.  Lowy’s photographs have appeared in such publications as the New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, the New Yorker, National Geographic, Photo District News and World Press Photo. His first book, Iraq / Perspectives is forthcoming, October 2011.

Anne Veraldi returns to dnj Gallery for her second solo show, introducing her “Plastic Rose Series.” In these playful photographs, Veraldi presents daydreams.  She again builds atmospheres of ice, air and water, capturing various toys shot beneath or wrapped in plastic bags. Veraldi plays with our perception, tricking us into believing at first glance the objects are actually life-sized and not toys. “This is important because I want people to have an initial uncertainty as to what they are seeing and pause for a moment to look at this imaginary world,” says Veraldi.  The resulting images have a fresh, bright quality that manipulates the color of the plastic in a very painterly way.

Anne Veraldi received her MFA in Painting/Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has shown extensively throughout the United States, often publishing her photographs simultaneously. In November 2009, she won the “Portfolio Contest” in Color Magazine.  Her works are in the collection of the Di Rosa Collection and the Crocker Art Museum.  Veraldi lives and works in San Francisco.

SHOW DATES:  September 17- November 5, 2011RECEPTION:  Saturday, September 17, 6-8 pm

GALLERY HOURS:  Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm

dnj Gallery is located in Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, CA

By Jim McKinniss

Matthew Brandt: TWO SHIPS PASSING at M+B Gallery

Posted in Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 23, 2011

Photo copyright by Matthew Brandt


M+B is pleased to announce Two Ships Passing an exhibition of new work by Matthew Brandt. “Twoships passing” is a common saying describing the possibilities and often unresolved nature of love and connection. The show’s title borrows from this multi-layered expression—its ambiguity as well as promise of potential—to describe the peculiar interdependency between The United States and China.

At the core of the exhibition stands one particular circumstance: when two vessels pass each other in their domestic waters. Created with their own depicted fluid, two large-scale salted paper prints represent this specific occurrence in both Chinese and American waters. Brandt’s act of juxtaposing this simple circumstance creates a shared cultural meeting point.

At the entrance to the gallery a sign reads, “For your safety do not touch the artwork,” warning visitors of the exposed electrical current running through the etched copper picture planes. These photographs of urban Hunan China, the birthplace of Mao Zedong, are circuit boards. This technology was once dominated by US manufactures, today it is primarily produced in China. The electricity courses through the conduit skirting around large-scale photographs of American Lake in Tacoma, Washington, chromogenic prints soaked in the lake water. The electrical current leads to a single original Edison Company bulb (circa late 1800s), now a symbolic relic of technologic innovation and industrial procedures that have helped define America as a super power. Uninterested in resurrecting arguments about Chinese-US relations, Matthew Brandt creates a platform depicting two places, two bodies, and where they meet.

Born in Los Angeles in 1982, Matthew Brandt received his BFA from Cooper union in 2004 and MFA from The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2008. His work has recently been exhibited in New York, reviewed in the New Yorker and his precocious talent has landed him in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Armand Hammer Museum (Los Angeles) and the Elton John Collection. Brandt currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

This exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980, a Getty initiative that brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California to examine the history of contemporary art in Los Angeles.

Location: M+B, 612 North Almont Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Show Title: Matthew Brandt: Two Ships Passing

Exhibition Dates: September 16 – October 29, 2011

Artist’s Reception: Friday, September 16, 2011, 6 – 9 pm

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm, and by appointment

For more info, please contact Shannon Richardson at M+B at (310) 550 – 0050 or


By Jim McKinniss

Mark Laita Exhibition: Amaranthine, Sea, and Serpentine at Fahey/Klein Gallery

Posted in Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 16, 2011

Photo copyright by Mark Laita

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present three new bodies of work from photographer Mark Laita: Amaranthine, Sea, and Serpentine. Mark Laita’s previous exhibitions at the Fahey/Klein Gallery were based on an eight year body of work entitled Created Equal, consisting of American diptych portraits that succeed in challenging or reinforcing our perceptions of American archetypes, and explore themes such as wealth, beauty, occupation, and age. In this most recent exhibition however, Mark Laita strays away from human subject matter all together, and instead focuses on beautifully preserved birds, mesmerizing snakes, and ethereal sea life.

In Amaranthine, Mark Laita expertly documents over 100 species of birds from several natural history museums’ ornithological archives. Photographed against a rich black background, the brilliance of the birds’ feathers and plumage is stunning—the feathers begin to resemble fine silks and brilliantly dyed, intricately patterned fabrics.

Typically, the only clue that the birds are actually preserved, and not living, is the handwritten identification tags tied around their feet. The birds’ feathers and plumage are just as brilliant, delicate, and iridescent as when they were alive. The title of the series, “Amaranthine” (meaning immortal and everlasting), further defines this body of work as a remarkable study of the precarious relationship between death and everlasting beauty.

Similarly, Serpentine is a collection of over 120 images of snakes, also photographed against a pure black background. Unlike Amaranthine, these subjects are very much alive, masterfully shot in a way that gives the viewer the impression that the serpentine subjects are capable of slithering off at any moment. The snakes are captured as they are twisting and curling— their long bodies making graphic and fluid shapes, their scales appear to glow with unearthly colors and nearly florescent hues.

The patterns of the scales, the shapes the bodies twist into, and the colors captured in their skins are undeniably mesmerizing, underlying the seductive quality and mythological presence that snakes have held throughout history.

The third body of work on display, Sea, captures images of sea creatures as they are reflected near the surface of their own world. The photographs reveal the ethereal and otherworldly nature of sea life. The brilliant colors and remarkable texture of each animal is highlighted as the luminous creatures float and twist towards the surface of the water. Sea, Mark Laita’s second publication, will be published by Abrams in the Fall/ Winter of 2011.

Mark Laita grew up in the Midwest cities of Detroit and Chicago, where he discovered photography at the age of fifteen. As a teenager he worked on a series of portraits of Chicago’s homeless, which thirty years later matured and expanded into Created Equal, Laita’s first Fine Art series published by Steidl in 2010. Mark Laita earned a degree in photography from Columbia College and the University of Illinois/Chicago. He divides his time between Los Angeles and New York City.

This exhibition runs through September 3, 2011

Fahey/Klein is located at: 148 North La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036

 Phone: (323) 934-2250 Fax: (323) 934-4243


By Jim McKinniss

Mark Kirchner – Soka University Founders Gallery – 2009

Posted in Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on August 15, 2011


Copyright Mark Kitchner 2009

Note: this was initially posted April 15, 2009 in the now defunct blog Photo Exhibit

On February 1st, 2009, at the Soka University’ Founders Hall Art Gallery, Aliso Viejo, CA, was the opening of Mark KirchnersManzanar Pilgrimage – Photograhs from the Manzanar National Historic Site 1983-2008” exhibition. The exhibit runs through May 15th, 2009. The artist reception was on Thursday, February 12th.

This is a photographic series about a specific location in Central California, the location where many Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II and where they spent the war. There were a number of such camps within the United States were those whose national allegiance was at question. Actually, there were no questions, they were relocated purely on the ethnic appearance.

Kirchner states;

On my first trip I spent five days walking and camping on the Manzanarsite. Walking grids and sight lines, I found the land full of artifacts that had passed through time. The remains of old structures and gardens lay hidden in tumbleweeds and sagebrush. Acacia trees that had once been pruned with care stood silently like overgrown Bonsai. I discovered names and dates inscribed in concrete lying quietly as messages and memorials to a hidden past.

This is a black and white photographic project that Kirchner initiated in 1983. The majority of the serene landscape photographs are from this early period, augmented with recent photographs when Kirchner became re-engaged with this project in 2006. These photographs only start to hint at the injustice that the Japanese-Americans suffered during World War II in the early 1940′s. It mattered not that they were born in the U.S. or that they had full U.S. citizenship, they just happened to look incorrect, have the wrong heritage, as well as having the wrong skin color.

As Kirchner documents with the recent inclusion of Muslims who have participated in this annual ceremony, we have not learned very much during the ensuing years since World War II.

This particular location on Route 395 is also near the place and occurring at the same time that Ansel Adams made a number of his central California landscape photographs. You can see some of those same snow cover peaks in the background of Kirchner early photographs.

Kirchner recently remarked that this exhibition has had a deep emotional effect on the local Japanese-American community, as there are many who can trace their personal and family history through these camps. It has allowed them to share experiences with their younger generations, about times that have remained hidden and only whispered about.

Kichner has explored this sacred ground and found traces of memories, and perhaps for some, a place of angst that is now become more fully revealed. The veil of secrets is quietly being lifted and we need to ensure that this is not repeated again.






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“I Love L.A.” photo exhibition at Duncan Miller Gallery

Posted in Books & Magazines, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Jim McKinniss on August 11, 2011

"Evening on Sunset Blvd." copyright by Nitsa


"Drive Thru" copyright by Jeff Seltzer


"Downtown Cowboy" copyright by Clay Lipsky

The following article by Mike Boehm appeared in the Entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times on August 5, 2011. All copyrights are reserved by the appropriate party or parties.

If you set up a website and put out an open call for photographs of Los Angeles -– with a $30 entry fee to ensure that only serious shooters would respond —  what would you get?

If you impaneled five experts to judge the pictures, what would they find to admire?
If you put their picks in a gallery show and posted them online, would eyeballs gather and be enthralled?

And might the show have enough legs to travel the world and send out a vision -– actually 42 visions -– of what constitutes L.A.?

The answers to the first two questions are in, and “I Love L.A.,” featuring the judges’ picks of 50 photographs by the 42 shooters, will open Aug. 11 with a free preview reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Pacific Ballroom at the downtown Wilshire Grand Hotel. Then it will run Aug. 13 to Sept. 17 at Duncan Miller Gallery, 10959 Venice Blvd. 

“I Love L.A.” is already up on its Facebook page, where viewers can vote for their own favorites -– public opinion via Facebook and in person at the gallery will determine how about $20,000 worth of prize photo equipment is allocated.

“The only thing I wanted was a great gallery exhibition,” said gallery owner Daniel Miller, who set up a website in May to solicit entries. “I want someone in Tokyo to be able to walk into a room, with no other information but these photos, and smile and get it and go, ‘Oh, L.A!'”

Miller said he’s working on the Tokyo part -– actually Seoul is the hoped-for first stop on the hoped-for tour, and a Paris art festival is another possibility. He said he’s been working with L.A.’s sister city program and the cultural tourism chief at L.A. Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, on trying to place the exhibition overseas.

“I have very ambitious plans for this to travel, but it needs to prove itself first,” Miller said. “This is a really interesting ambassador for the city of Los Angeles, but it’s an art project, not a promo piece.”

The jurors were Miller, Steven Banks, design director of Los Angeles magazine; Los Angeles Times staff photographer Barbara Davidson, whose “Victims of Gang Violence” won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for feature photography; Rebecca Morse, associate curator at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art; and Karen Sinsheimer, curator of photography at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.Miller said 242 photographers anted up the entry fee and submitted 740 pictures (he said each contestant got more than $30 worth of free photo equipment or services he’d lined up from sponsors). About six of the photographers picked for the exhibition “will be pretty well known in the L.A. [photography] community, and another 12 shoot for a living,” he said. Others chosen had come out of the woodwork, including photographers based in Germany and France. The average selling price for the pictures is about $600, Miller said, and a 72-page exhibition catalog is available for $35. If there was a surprise, the gallery owner said, it’s that the pictures submitted were devoid of the bleak vision of L.A. defined by Charles Manson, the Rodney King riots or skid row.

“It’s not sanitized by any means -– we have some pieces that are atmospheric and moody — but for some reason we don’t have anything that’s completely freaking-weird edgy. L.A. certainly has that, but for some reason, those pieces weren’t submitted.”

This exhibition will run Aug. 13 to Sept. 17 at Duncan Miller Gallery, 10959 Venice Blvd. 
By Jim McKinniss