photola-logoThe international photographic art exposition photo la returned for its 24th year at The REEF (newly dubbed) located in the *(previously named) historic LA Mart building in downtown Los Angeles, January 15 thru 18, 2015.

LA Art Party attended the opening gala of photo la on Thursday, Januray 15. There were galleries, dealers, museums, and nonprofit organizations from the US and the international community. In addition to showcasing 19th century works to contemporary photographic art, photo la’s acclaimed programming included lectures, roundtable discussions, special installations, and docent tours with distinguished members of the photographic/arts community.

Sesm-photola-CohenGallerye image: Siri Kaur, This Kind of Face

Stephen Cohen of the Stephen Cohen Gallery started photo la twenty four years ago when he needed to find more clients in LA. His work on the fair allowed him to open a small gallery.

This year’s event featured over 3,500 guests at the opening Night Gala, and 14,000 visitors over the whole weekend! The weekend long  event incuded talks, tours, panels, and book signings. Weston Naef (Curator Emeritus, Department of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum) led a docent tour as part of this year’s programming. Another docent tour was led by Keith F. Davis (Senior Curator of Photography, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri). A popular panel from photo la  was moderated by Robert Berman: Gallerist & Owner, Robert Berman Gallery & Santa Monica Auctions. The panel featured how to create a lasting art collection. The panelists included: Hannah Sloan (Director of Rosegallery), Michael Hawley (Collector), Rachel Peart (Consignments Director, Heritage Auctions), Carol Lee Brosseau (Art Advisor, Photography Specialist, Appraiser).

Documentary photographer Catherine Opie was honored this year at photo la’s exclusive VIP opening gala and celebrated her lifelong contributions to the arts. Additionally, all proceeds from the opening gala will go towards photo la 2015 beneficiaries The United Way of Greater Los Angeles and The Painted Brain.
Some of the highlights I enjoyed were Helen Garber:

See image: Helen Garber, Venice: Yesterday/Today or still crazy after all these years

“I am thrilled to have been given the honor of a solo exhibit at this prestigious international art show. We used the opportunity to present my latest project, my first folio of the series: Venice: Yesterday/Today or still crazy after all these years.

The 16 image, 16 x 20″ folio in custom box is in an edition of 15 with two artists proofs. Garber said she was interested in finding collectors to purchase and donate one to LACMA and one to the LA Public Library Photo Collection. Helen K Garber Studio is located at 801 Ocean Front Walk, St 9 in Venice Beach.

Sphotolaee image: Unknown performance artist

At the gala, we enjoyed tacos from Escuela Taqueria (with locations in both Beverly Hills and Pasadena) as well as Vodka from Tito’s Vodka, beer from Angel City Brewery and others. 

There was a woman wearing a costume that was covered in QR codes who interacted with the crowd – a kind of fashion meets performance art – very ambitious. Unfortunately my iPhone did not read the QR codes so I wasn’t able to link to her website.

To find out more about photo la, visit the website