Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The second show I went to was on Saturday night at the O1 Gallery, downtown. The show had an amazing turnout for photographer, Greg Bojorquez. The Los Angeles native photographed his friends and neighbors of East L.A. over a period of ten years, documenting the lives of his fellow Latinos, and gang bangers. The images are gritty documents of life as a cholo/chola living in the colorfull backdrop of the mural laden East side. Bojorquez was interested in shooting as someone from the inside as a means for creating a true portriat of a community, rather than having it be represented by an "outsider". I think that that's a really great place to be coming from because the idea of the "outsider" providing a document of a community can sometimes be a miscommunication of sorts, while Bojorquez attempts to make an insider portrait.
This weekend I attended two really great photo exhibits that inspired me. The first one was the closing show for Lillian Bassman, at the Peter Fetterman Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. She was one of the main photographers for Vanity Fair magazine from the 40's and 60's, and brought a beautiful and unique vision to fashion photography. She did a lot of darkroom manipulation, which gave her the effect seen in her imagery, using bleach to make the images very contrasty. Anyhow, looking at the giant black and white fiber based prints was amazing. There really is something about traditional darkroom printing that is magic.