Week-23-Project Development

Exhibit Nov 17th Hollywood Sculpture Garden and Gallery.

Sunday the 17th was my second my pop up exhibition. The curator informed me that he would like to do do a second one. Of course it was good news and was very pleased at the fact. The event was later afternoon and  better turn out. Even though I had a good attendance, people arrived one or two at a time. This actually worked out well becuase I was concerned that they would not be able to fit the 10ft by 10ft exhibit area and fully appreciate the images.  But for the few odd occasions where there exhibit got crowded, most of the time there were one or two people three at most in the area and it did not impact them looking at the images, or getting in each others way.

Fences exhibit: Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©
Fences exhibit Nov 17th. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly
Fences exhibition Nov 17. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©

One thing I did learn from this exhibit is that a big viweing area is important. My exhibit would not have been able to accommodate more than two people at a time without them running into each other. On the whole, other than a few times, it worked out well, but will take into consideration on future shows.

I did get mixed feedback. One viewer came, looked and left almost immediately. He said: “I’m a landscape photographer and don’t get any of this”  Another viewer sent me an e-mail:

“Really loved your photo exhibit today! Your photo art was beautiful, mysterious, dream-like, moving. Love the abstract graphics. Not just pretty pictures. Captivating.  The theme of fences and getting out of one’s own way spoke to me, and how!  Getting my creativity and general attitude “out of the box” so to speak is timely for me now as I’ve been wanting to move in a more abstract direction with my photography and take some risks Dammit!!”

Some people did not comment they preferred to remain silent. One girl seemed very emotional almost teary eyed. Another person I invited is a brilliant recluse. His knowledge about film and art is beyond words. He doesn’t drive, doesn’t have much money, and lives like a hermit. He arrived very late. He took two busses and walked from Gower up into the Hollywood Hills to see my show. I felt very grateful that someone world do this, he went over and beyond what I could expect from anyone.  It was very touching moment for me.

Later in the evening there was a fund raiser for Sarah Levy, I attended her talk about the homeless is Los Angeles, and I felt very moved by her speech. Homlessness is at the elbow of many artists so it is a subject I am very interested in. The problem seems to be out of hand here in Los Angeles and getting worse.  Just at the foot of Hollywood Hills (some of the most expensive real-estate in the Los Angeles)  live individuals who have lost it all. They live in tents and on the streets under the Gower street bridge. I passed the homeless encampment when I set up my pop-up and when I drove home at night.

Franklin Avenue is the ‘fence’ between the have’s and the have not’s. Ethically, this is not right. Just below the Hollywood sign, where some have much, others have nothing.  Historically this is not new, it has been going on since the times of Kings who lived in castles, while below at the drawbridge, were peasants living in dire poverty.

I invited Sarah to look at my exhibition, and explained that fences exist in many forms and the one between rich and the poor is another one of many.  I presented a few ideas to her, and she suggested  I contact her through her campain manager, and should talk about the subject more.

This was nice to be able to do a show and tell. Show my work, and suggest ways I could help the cause through similar works.  Dorothea Lange came to mind as did Louis Hine. Richard Avedon with his series The American’ s also closed my mind. I was nice to be able to cross reference these hero’s of the past, who as artists raised the awareness of society to those less fortunate and in some cases, as is the case with Louis Hine, the total aboloshiment of child labour.

At that moment, I realised that I have crossed the fences in my life, and opened the gate to roads ahead that offer an infinite way of working as an artist in the field of photography. I have crossed the fence from representation into the world of abstraction, but why limit myself there, when there is so much that can be done.