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photo l.a. – a look at the changing nature of photography

People are making a billion pictures a day now and the basic photographic processes are a given for anyone with a phone. The role of the photographer as artist is being redefined every instant. This year’s photo l.a. represents that dilemma and the opportunities as well.

The competent and pretty picture is now inevitable given the numbers made. Instagram processes put a veneer on your little brothers selfie. How is the photographic artist community responding to the flood of pretty good? Walking the halls of this year’s show it seems there were two or three basic strategies.

Many photographers continue to produce work that separates themfrom the herd by the use of extremely careful process, by size of image, subject matter and mastery of craft. It seems to me there is a renewed interest in an impressionistic or pictorialist aesthetic but plenty of work that springs from the F64 school continues to be made. There is however, another trend that blurs the distinction between photographer and artist. One where the print as object is the primary interest. Although there is a sampling of these images included here it’s important to understand they can’t really be seen second hand. They are truly three dimensional objects made to be experienced by moving around them and the static viewpoint fails to capture their experience.

So here in January 2014, once again, photography is alive and well. Some of our most fundamental assumptions have been challenged and many of our traditions have lost their relevance but photographers are responding with energy and insight to the conditions we find ourselves in. 

My takeaway from photo l.a.– no matter how much you see this new work in books or magazines or on the internet it is not the same experience as seeing them directly. Photography becomes ever more like painting in that eachprint is its own thing, not a copy and the print must be seen directly to be appreciated. It’s time to get out to the galleries, museums and shows in your town and see pictures made to be seen on walls as they were made to be seen. There’s a lot of nice work going on!

photo l.a.
January 16-19, 2014
L.A. Mart
Los Angeles, CA
USA

http://www.photola.com/

Andy Romanoff http://andyromanoff.zenfolio.com
Peter Combe – http://petercom.be
Gabriel Figueroa – correiagallery@gmail.com
Kim Demuth – http://www.qcp.org.au/exhibitions/interational/gallery/international-projects/photo-l-a-2014/
James Georgopoulos – http://www.jamesgeorgopoulos.org

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