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Photo LA was a Stunning Display of Historical Photography through Contemporary in Santa Monica’s Epic Barker Hangar with JoAnn Callis as the Honoree of the Event

Photography Blasts to the Forefront of Fine Art in this Years’ Photo LA

By: Cynthia Underwood

Santa Monica, CA-Photo LA-Jan 31-Feb 3, 2019, (The Hollywood Times) – “I am so amazed by the inventiveness of JoAnn Callis with what she has created in small, domestic spaces”, says Zoe Lemelson of Callis’ gallery, Rose Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica.

JoAnn Callis

JoAnn Callis is a Southern California photographer known for her provocative scenes of womanhood created with an other-wordly feel. I had a moment to talk with JoAnn and was delighted by her quirkiness, her work and her intelligence.

Photo LA featured an abundance of fantastic historical photos as well as contemporary works where the artist utilized new methods of creating a traditional photograph. Notably, Thomas Jackson creates photographs of his installations that make you look twice at what his method is.

In Straws no. 4, Mono Lake California, 2015, he created a sculpture using mostly clear twine strung through the bright straws. The result is an exciting photograph that transports the viewer into meditating on how the vibrant, seemingly floating sculpture was created, or maybe how the photograph was created.

Another is Brooklyn Bridge, Day to Night, 2016 by Stephen Wilkes. I was told by the gallery that Wilkes creates his images using a series of shots taken over eight to ten hours. These are not “time-lapse” photos but are a mash-up of single frame photos taken over the course of many hours. He shoots iconic locations, like this one in New York. For me as an artist, I love that his art includes the art of another artist, Deb Kass. Kass created the widely celebrate yellow OY sculpture that can be seen on the lower portion of the photo.

Photo courtesty of Monroe Gallery of Photography

While photography is just simply a wonderful addition to any household, photography is also a document of history and a tool to help bring about change. This can be seen in Ryan Vizzion’s deeply touching Black Lives Matter Rally after the Family of Alton Sterling Spoke Following the Shooting Deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, Piedmont Park, 2016 also with Monroe Gallery of Photography.

Jeffrey Sklan (Photo courtesy of Monroe Gallery of Photography

In addition to JoAnn Callis’ and Thomas Jacksons’ notable work, a few of the other standouts in this years show how include photographs by: Nikki S. Lee, The Ohio Project (7) and for delicacy, I choose Jeffrey Sklan and his Elegy photographs.

A few other Art World greats and historically significant pieces that were in the show included:




Thank you Photo LA, JoAnn Callis, all the volunteers, artists and Venice Arts.

The LA art world is on fire. Don’t miss out.

On any given day, you can find me, Cynthia Underwood, painting in my studio with my cat, Stewie, who is an art expert on Instagram and an author.

I’m also a Design Patent Examiner with the US Patent and Trademark Office and love turning the watercolor world upside down with my work.

About Photo LA

We know what you’re thinking, “Been there, done that.” We’re happy to tell you that Photo LA is an entirely different experience.

We’re bringing the best of the photography world to your doorstep with a collaborative platform that links dealers and collectors with a gamut of galleries from around the globe. Internationally recognized, yet abundantly accessible, Photo L.A. cultivates connections between industry elite and up-and-coming talent alike. The longest running international photographic art fair on the West Coast, Photo L.A. has been in operation for nearly three decades.

Photo L.A. received a new home in the historic Barker Hangar this year. The airplane hangar’s soaring vaulted ceilings, arched steel trusses, and sweeping 35,000 square foot event space will host a roster of 50-65 local and international galleries and dealers, individual artists, collectives, leading not-for-profits, museums, art schools, and global booksellers.

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