PHOTO LA: SANTA MONICA CIVIC CENTER * LOS ANGELES, CA

Photo LA, now in its 15th year, has become one of the largest photo exhibitions in the country. The exhibit consists of basically seventy to eighty galleries, some I’ve been to before, with their own booths, in the Santa Monica Civic Center. It’s nice to explore all the galleries in one setting.

The galleries present a variety of types of work, some cool pictures, some weird ones, and some expensive ones, from the historic Time-Life Archive to such titles as “Sex Machines.” Some of my favorites included the work of Thomas Kellner. Each of his pieces is a collection of negatives that create a larger, mosaic-like picture. They remind me of time spent in the dark room. Others I liked were black and white photos of LA taken from a helicopter at night, some huge photo-murals of a busy, colorful street in Shanghai, and the work by Anderson and Low at Apex Gallery.

If your walls are bare or if you’re just looking for new work and new artists, Photo LA is the perfect place to browse. And if you bring your checkbook, the gallerists will be more than happy to sell you what’s on display in their booth. Prices range from moderate to that of a nice European luxury car. A couple old Time-Life photos were going for almost $30K. And I’m sure there were plenty more that cost more than that!

The food was great too, or what was left of it by the time I got to it . . . it was tucked away around a corner and I didn’t see it when I first entered the exhibit, so a lot of it was gone by the time I found it! But we did get to have this amazing chocolate cake from Susina Bakery and hors d'oeuvres Pane e Vino.

The producers of Photo LA also have a Photo San Francisco in the summer and Photo New York in the fall.

xo