Friday, January 30, 2009

Ephemeral Photography

From a great article over at the WSJ titled "Asking the Artist for a Do-Over:"

In 1995 the Museum of Modern Art purchased the complete set of Cindy Sherman's 1977-80 untitled film stills, considered some of the most important photographs produced in the contemporary era. Nowhere on the accompanying labels or on its Web site does the museum acknowledge that these prints were run off at the time of the purchase from the old negatives, because many of the original black-and-whites had been processed carelessly, resulting in severe color shifts and fading. "When people bring in an early work that's technically all wrong -- it's turned silver or something -- we print out another one," said Janelle Reiring, director of Sherman's gallery, Metro Pictures.

Now, this is something I have often thought about when it comes to photography. What's the most a photo can last? If I were going to buy Gursky's 99 Cent for 3 million dollars, I'd sure as heck want to know that it could be passed on from generation to generation like a painting can. Might this be the reason for photography not selling anywhere near the prices of the top contemporary canvases?

It would make sense to me that some sort of foundation be created by the big art photographers or their galleries ensuring (by simply keeping a high res. digital file for printing) that another pristine copy could be exchanged for the old one, which would then be destroyed, retaining the value of the work. Such a guarantee might make auction (and thus, gallery) prices rise.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

J. Bennett Fitts / Kopeikin Reopening Saturday

Copyright J. Bennett Fitts

Kopeikin Gallery is having it's first Opening at it's new digs in West Hollywood with a joint show featuring J. Bennett Fitts' "Industrial Landscape[ing]" series this Saturday from 6-9pm.

I'll be in attendance so let me know if you are going also and we can say hello and geek out on photo.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quote of the week

So Joerg published this today on Conscientious (which I'm certain all of you read) but I just wanted to add a little something to the end of it.

"Because it's the product of three independent parties - photographer, camera, subject - the photograph cannot be owned. Indeed, it can affect us in ways the photographer might never have foreseen or desired." - William T. Vollmann

...However, you must all go write artist statements now, telling us what you would like us to feel and think about your work because conceptualism has won. What's that you say? You are trying to communicate visually? Go write something anyway or we won't consider your work.

Animal Collective tics for the Wiltern in May on sale!

Copyright Noah Kalina

Photo related posts to follow shortly, but if you are an Animal Collective fan, you'll want to know that tickets for their show on May 29 at the Wiltern just went on sale. Looks like downstairs is already sold out so act fast. Scalped tics for the last two sold out shows were going for 100 bucks. Buy today or beware.

If you're not a fan, please forgive the post...but you should be.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Translight Photography Center

Translight Colours is now Translight Photography Center, offering both color and B&W darkroom rentals, Epson 9800 printing and a whole slew of other services. You can use the Epson color printer (up to 44" tall) with Christine, the manager's supervision for just $7 a square foot. That means to print a 6 foot wide print comes out to about $65. A comparable print at a very popular lab here, the name of which I'll keep to myself, would run you $160 and you'd have to wait to get your test print, come back, see it, make tweaks, and then come back again for the final print. I don't know about you, but I like the idea of being able to bang it all out in one go and have Christine there to help if anything goes wrong. I can't wait to try it out.

Thanks, Aline

PIX, the rental house here in Los Angeles has launched a blog. If it's anything like their MySpace page, you will definitely want to add this one to your blogroll to keep up to date on all things photo related in town.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quote of the Week

"I never wanna be seduced by all those pixels to the point that I confuse a detailed picture with a good picture."

- Joe McNally

Joe was speaking of the new Nikon D3X and how detailed the images coming out of a version he got to test were.

I for one, am certainly guilty of often conversely confusing a blurry/non-detailed picture with a bad picture, which is not always the case. I'm glad we're getting to a point where this is a potential problem, though.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top Photographic Find of 2008

Copyright Roger Ballen, Mimicry 2005

So everyone is publishing best of lists for 2008 but I'll just share my personal top photographic find of 2008, Roger Ballen. Based in South Africa and a geoligist by trade, Ballen is a wonderful reminder that life is long. He never made any money with his photography but kept shooting because he had to before receiving well-deserved acclaim for his work in his 50's.

Lens Culture just posted a slideshow and excellent inteview with Ballen that I highly recommend listening to.

Back - Photo LA

Copyright Alex Prager, Kimberly, 2008

So my apologies for the recent lack of posts. Things got a bit too hectic during the holiday season and so I needed a little break. Hopefully, things should start to pick up a bit with photo happenings around town now also.

So Aline beat me to the punch and posted all you need to know here about Photo LA, which kicks off with an opening reception this Thursday. I agree with Aline's statements regarding how one feels during and after these fairs, having not missed ARCO or PhotoEspana for the last three years. I can only add to it that you will equally be inspired and impressed by great work and conversely, given a newfound sense of optimism about your own work after seeing the mediocre work being represented by galleries.

I can't stress how important it is to go to this if you are here in LA and serious about art photography. This is your glimpse into a world that can at times seem mysterious and out of reach and an amazing learning opportunity.

I am most excited about attending the portfolio walk on Saturday from 6-9pm to see the work of fellow emerging photographers and to get a glimpse of presentation methods ahead of my own participation at reviews, which is on the books for next year.