Annenberg Space for Photography
Century City, California
I recently went to Century City to visit the opening of Annenberg Space for Photography. The opening exhibition, “L8S ANG3LES” (through June 28, 2009), included an interesting and eclectic group of photos taken by some talented and well-known Los Angeles photographers.
Although the gallery is relatively small, there were many different examples of photography compacted within the space. As you walk in, there are touch screen computers (Microsoft Touch) that have digital photo albums. They are very fun to play with! There are also books filled with fine-art photography and a short video that explains in detail each artist’s background and motivation for his or her work. I think the video was very well made, interesting, and entertaining.
The works focused on famous faces, environments, historical events, and Los Angeles daily life. The variety of styles, techniques, and subject matter offers an interesting mix to the exhibition so it does not become monotonous. I thought that the skills, talent, styles and creative vision of the featured photographers were very impressive.
My favorite photographer was Julius Shulman. Many of his photos feature ’50s modern architecture in Palm Springs, but it is the lighting and composition that make the images fascinating. Backyard pools with boulder-strewn desert landscapes in the background become otherworldly oases in Shulman’s hands.
On the other end of the spectrum, I was jolted by the raw emotion captured in photos taken during the 1992 LA riots. One photo shows a man running past buildings that are engulfed in flames. He is pushing a shopping cart filled with what appear to be looted diapers. The harsh aspects of LA inner-city life are illustrated completely in this photo.
By comparison, Carolyn Cole’s photos of events around the world remind us that life in LA is not so bad. We feel like voyeurs when viewing her profound and thought-evoking pictures.
Overall, I highly recommend visiting the space. A visit will not take more than two hours, so you will have time to get lunch in the area. You could also visit the nearby Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and have a culturally enriched day.
For more information and to see the photographers’ work, visit www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org