Week-14-Contextual Research

This week I attended the following galleries: The TAG gallery on Wilshire and the Steve Turner Gallery on Santa Monica Blvd.

Both Galleries were interesting in thier own respects. The TAG gallery is run by an artists co-op. There is a group or artists, who pool in and  pay for the space that way. Here their work is exhibited and sold, and the prices are very affordable stating at around $400 and up. It was a big change compared to the rest of the galleries where art works start at the $10,000 mark, so the beginner collector/investor would not be able to afford a lot of work at those prices but at $500 to start, it is very affordable. One can become a memeber of the co-op from what I understand, but have to be voted in by the group. Never the less it is possible to get ones own work shown and exhibited in a very nice area along Wilshire Blvd.

Tag Gallery, Beverly Hills Photo by: Pierre Chemaly
Inside TAG gallery. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly

The Gallery exhibits paintings as well as photography, They had an exhibit of Tom Wheeler who has a studio at the gallery. Attending all these galleries has given me good ideas how to possibly exhibit my own work.

Tom Wheeler Studio. TAG Gallery. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly
Photographic work of Tom Wheeler. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly

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I received an email from the Von Lintel gallery to attend an opening of Mark Sheinkman.  It was nice to see how the work was presented. The artist, patrons of the arts, dealers, buyers and art lovers attended. As I have to have an opening for my own work, I will attend as many openings as I can, to get acclimated to the scene.

Located in the Bendix Building in the Fashion District of Los Angeles, I was glad to have visited the Bendix with my UCLA contemporary art class, and also went to Von Lintel’s so felt good that I knew a little bit about the gallery.

Bendix Building in bacground, Fashion District Night. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©

 

View Downtown Los Angeles from the Bendix Building. Photography by: Pierre Chemaly©

What I like about Marks work is that there is a co-hesiveness to his work, all the paintings can immediately be identified as being by the same artist. He works with very limited materials. This seems to be what happens to most artists in the end, they get to the bones of the work. No fat, no muscle, no frills. Say what can be said as frugally as possible. In my own practice, pairing down has become of my soul focus, hence the abstracting of my photography, which is in fact what abstraction is.  It is a refinemnt of the communication, which happens after decades of tuning.

After leaving Von Lintels, I wondered about the darkened streets with my camera (my old trusty Canon 7D) it was nice to wander alone at night photographing. No people, no noise, just me an my thoughts. Some ideas came to mind for my next series, post MA.

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Bauhaus Exhibition at the Getty. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly

Attended the PAC-LA tour of the Getty Research Institute yesterday. An exhibit of articles from the Bauhaus. Since I  am printing my own images and working with materials to frame my images, I enjoy anything to do with Bauhaus. I took my camera with me, and made quite a few new images for my FMP portfolio. I will be taking these images and constructing more works in the coming weeks.

Exercises in form placement. Property of the Getty. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly

I found these types of exercises that were performed by students of the day very interesting. With these simple forms it can be seen that placement in infinite.

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One of my fellow classmates in the UCLA Contemporary Art Class, gave me a card of a painter/phtographer who sells his images at Venice Beach. I had mentioned that I was consideraring having my exhibition on the broad walk and she gave me his information.  I gave him a call. He sells watercolurs and photo art on the weekends. He mentioned just to go down there and set up, but be prepared for some annoyances from the vagrants that frequent the beach boardwalk. I will go down to Venice when I do my printing refresher this coming weekend at SMC.

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Week-12-Project Development

Today,  I made a call to the Fahey/Kline Gallery in Los Angeles. I had been there with the UCLA class (Contemporary Los Angeles Art: ART HIS-853.42) and had the opportunity to talk to the curator. He remembered me, as we had a brief chat about the financial  state of photography sales.  He had mentioned that the Gallery is doing very.  This was a change from most of the other galleries that mentioned the fiancial climate of the photography is cool.

I am entertaining the thought of making my own prints for my exhibition, however I  have a technical problem. I love the look of fibre base paper, but it is very difficult to get the photograph to dry flat once it has been washed. I have made my big murals 40×60 on resin coated paper and for that size, it works very well. There is an old joke I read somewhere and I will paraphrase: ‘If you can’t do it good, go big, if it’s still no good, go for color.”  Something like that. I have to admit that the element “Big” does have an effect on the RC print. Somehow it looks very good as a mural [(40x60inches) so I do not need to go for color]  but terrible as an 11×14.

I have tried most of the drying techniques for fibre, and none of them work well enough for me. I like a completely flat print.  (Short of buying a Maco Ecomat professional drying press for about $1800.00)  There is always a slight ripple to the paper, even when hinged, matted, or taped.  The one method that works very well is is mounting the print onto a substarte. Either dry mounting onto acid free archival board, or on to some substrate like sintra, dibond or gatorfoam. However, once the print is mounted to any substrate, it is permanent. So my question to the curator was:  “Is it acceptable to mount to a substrate, like dibond, sintra or acid free board?”  I was assured that it is a very acceptable method and well accepted in the art market.  Many of his clients dry mount, or secure to dibond.

This past week, I applied for the LAAA (Los Angeles Artists Association) membership. And was accepted on the 5 photographs I submitted. As a member I can submit to group shows they have and for one that is coming up in September the 14th.  I am on the members list as Pierre Chehaly, they made an error, but I am thinking of keeping it that way as my artist name.  I had to submit two pieces (Photos) and will see if I get into the group show.  (COY) Will be notified  by the 31st of this month, one week away. I then have a week to submit the prints. Due to lack of time I will have them printed by Weldon Color Lab. (they can print fibre)  The problem is they are so far behind they may not be able to mount my work which needs to be in to the 6th of September. So I called and asked for some help on this. I will have to call next week to see what they can do.  This will give me good practice for my own FMP show, dealing with problems like printing, mounting etc to make sure it gets done in time.

Tomorrow I have a get together for new members of the LAAA at the Gallery 825 in Los Angeles.

Gallery 825 (LAAA) Photo courtesy of: The Google.

This will be for a meet and greet. After that I will join my UCLA class for studio visits for artists which takes place from about 12 till 4pm, where we will visit various artist studios in Los Angeles around the arts distrct.

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Went to the meet and greet at the LAAAA. It was really nice to see and meet other artists in the Los Angeles area.

Gallery 825 /LA Artist Associaition. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©

The membership was  discussed, expectations and one has to donate 8hrs a year of  ‘work’  painting, cleaning the gallery, however I think it is a nice way to get involved.

Meet&Greet new members LAAA. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©

I am so glad that I had met Richard Bruland at the Hollywood Sculpture Garden, he recommended me to the LAAA, he is not a member himself anymore because he got represeantion as an artist at a gallery, so the job of the LAAA for him was done. However he is involved with the gallery and the current director.

LAAA artists work on exhibit at Gallery 825. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©

 

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Went of the Gallery/Artist Space tours this week-end with UCLA.  Attended the Bendix Buiding in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Bedix Buiding. Downtown Los Angeles. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly©

One of this places one hears about, but never anything more. I so glad to have signed up for this Art History class at UCLA, as I have managed to go to galleries, museums and art spaces I would never have gone to on my own. The biggest advantage so far, is to look at other artists work whi are still alive and working. Most of the big museums like the Broad, Tate, Pompidou, LACMA, MOMA, all the artists are gone, some for hundreds of years. The contemporary art scene is alive and well in Los Angeles, but hidden from the public eye.

I arrived late as I was at the LAAA meet and greet, but still in time to visit galleries: Durden and Ray, POST, Chateau Shatto and Von Lintel.  What I really enjoy about this class is the oppotunity to tlk to artists forst hand, as well as the curators and people behind the scenes that one would not normally be able to have access to.  The most enjoyable visit for this time around was the Von Lintel Gallery.  This is run by Tarrah Von Lintel, and she has may wowks of art, both from painters and photographers on show. She is an amazing curator, very knowledgeable and passionate about every artist she represents. Each one is very talented, and their works stand out. It is though her that I overcame my dislike for the fibre base curl and warping. It’s amazing to see, with some artists it works, and some it does not. Another vlaubale lesson learned. Nothing is an absolute. (2+2 approaches 4) it does not = 4.  I am finally getting to understand that logic.  For my FMP, I have to gather ideas how to present my work, and the choices are staggering.  One problem I am having is I would like to print mu own photographs on fibre base paper. However, getting these images to lay flat os very difficult because fiber base paper tends to warp and curl. The options are limited to dry mounting and putting onto a substrate such as Dibond or Sintra and the like, and I do not like either approach.  At Von Lintel, Tarrah had an exhibit by the artist Klea McKenna, she makes large fibre base prints that are camera less. When I saw her work, suddenly something clicked in me. I like the way the images were presented in a floating frame. Somehow the bend and curl of the fibre base paper did not bother me, in fact I liked it very much. I like the way it looks when floating, and I will take this approach with my FMP. I am glad to have had the opportunity to see the work first hand, this can easily be missed when looking at the work on-line.  So far, I am happy to be able to print my own work, and I will be looking into ordering some floating frames. I applied to the COY art call at LAAA. if I am accepted, I will do a test of my work in a floating frame, but so-far, I am very prone to going this route.

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Did extensive dark room printing this week. I went down to Freestyle Photo, and bought some Fomabrom 112   11×14 paper, it is fiber base, matte, and double weight. It is between this paper and Ilford Multigrade Warm Tone for my work.  I am slowly overcoming the worries of printing my own images. The mural workshop helped me with that. I am a pretty good printer, but the fibre base issue was a problem for me, however going to Von Lintel, talking to Tarrah, and seeing the work of Klea McKenna, has helped me to make the descision to print my own work.

I like high contrast images, still toying with the idea of matte or glossy, both have their plusses and minuses, my tendancy is to go with the matte Fomabrom 112, but that could change.

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I have also been photographing images for my photo montages/constructions. I look for the disparate images now then put them together in post, or by double exposure in camera. I collect the disparate images and then synthesise it into the whole. So my new image “Idea”  is a composite of three images. A tree, two watchful eyes and a lighting bolt, constructed and then printed.

Worked to-day constructing a few images from all the images I have collected  photographing aover the module. Working at compositing the image some in camera and some in photoshop, but mostly the combination of the two. I like the advantage of shooting in film and working in digital then going back to analogue for the final product. This techniques was used in the film industry till it went all digital, so I have the advantage of knowing film as well as digital very well. I am very comfortable in both mediums. So I phtograph in both film and digital, I will be doing my FMP in B+W, so I’m using My Nikons F3 and F, Pentax67 and Hasselblad 501  and Ilford HP5+ and my Canon 5D and 7d for digital the 16mp and 22mp respectively is good enough to get a very big print. a 40×60 will be no problem.

I constructed a few images to day. Each image will take about  a day to construct, if I have the elements. If not I have to go out and look for images. My stable now consists of Ravens, Stairs, Windows, Mirrors, Trees, Doors and I combine these images as the ideas come. I will be naking LVT’s from the files then printing them myself in the dark room. I did quite a bit of printing this week, wanted to do some more today but got too involved in making new images for this module and the FMP. I am pretty much st on pritning my own images from film, however it is very time consuming and very expensive, each LVT is about $70 and takes a week and is a 150mile drive there and back for me. I am using FomaBrom Fibre paper 11×14 and it also expensive between $50 and $80 for 25 sheets. I will definitely be making some 20x24inch prints, b ut this will be once I have my series completed.

Came to the realisation to-day, that I will abstract the fence out of my images, and will have very few representational images in the series. In fact I am at the point where I might abstract out ALL representation from the series. In one respect this will be great for me, as I have been teetering on the ‘Fence’ between representaion and abstraction since the beginning of the MA. But since my gallery visits and seeing other artists going for it, I may was well go all the way abstarct for the series. It will be based on what a fence connotes not what it denotes. Good art challenges me and pushed me to go further.

I started witing to-day, the words, associations, and some prose about fences. And I found out I can leave all denotation behind and only expound on the connotations a fence brings to mind.

Now that I have to print my own images, I am glad to have had the opportunity to have met Ansel and learned about darkroom technique. Ansel is  probably one of the best analogue printers who has every lived his technnique was un-equaled. His mural prints were spectacular. There are very few photgrahers today who print their own work.

Fahey/Kline Gallery: http://www.faheykleingallery.com

Maco Ecomat Drying Press: https://www.macodirect.de/en/darkroom/paper-developing/drying/4642/maco-ecomat-professional-dryer-51x65cm

LAAA: https://www.laaa.org

Weldon Color Lab: http://www.weldoncolorlab.com

The Bendix Building: https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/bendix-building/

Von Lintel Gallery: http://www.vonlintel.com