Month of Photography Los Angeles events spotlight the work of Westside shooters

By Kathy Leonardo

Looking to the heavens from inside the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood  in St. Petersburg, Russia: a photograph by Scott Tansey on display in “As Above, So Below” at Santa Monica’s bG Gallery Copyright Scott Tansey

Looking to the heavens from inside the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood
in St. Petersburg, Russia: a photograph by Scott Tansey on display in “As Above, So Below” at Santa Monica’s bG Gallery
Copyright Scott Tansey

In the art world, April is photography’s time to shine.

Founded in 2009, Month of Photography Los Angeles is a collaborative festival celebrating the art form and advancing the nonprofit Lucie Foundation’s goal “to honor master photographers and cultivate emerging talent and promote photography appreciation worldwide.”

For each of the past five years, Month of Photography Los Angeles cofounders Cat Jimenez and Hossein Farmani choose a theme and galleries all over L.A. sign up to curate related exhibitions in the month of April.

This year’s theme is “Realities and Concepts.”

“I hope that this theme engages photographers and photography lovers in a unique way … through the actual curation of exhibitions to the type of work we are fortunate to showcase,” Jimenez said.

She went on to speak about how photography has changed with the digital revolution.

“The shareability and accessibility of photography is limitless now. That doesn’t mean there are better photographers out there, but there’s more of an opening now to find them,” she said.

Month of Photography Los Angeles’ Westside highlights kick off Saturday with the exhibit “As Above, So Below” at the bG Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station Art Center.

Gallery curator and co-owner Om Bleicher explained that the group show celebrates the artists’ visual inquiry of micro- and macrocosms.

“I was looking for artists that tap into a juxtaposition of an external God’s eye and our inner creative eye,” said Bleicher, who gravitated toward the work of photographer Scott Tansey.

“Scott Tansey has some great panoramas looking from the ground up to the heavens, which is an unusual perspective for a panoramic photographer.” Bleicher said.

One of Tansey’s photos featured in the exhibit was taken at the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where Czar Alexander II was assassinated.

“I was not allowed to use a tripod inside, so I just hand held and looked straight up to take an image,” Tansey said, adding that he loved the architecture, canals and short-but-rich history of Russia’s great Western city. “It is amazing to think that Saint Petersburg and Los Angeles are about the same age.”

Tansey’s work has previously shown at bG Gallery, but this is his first Month of Photography Los Angeles event. The concept, he said, “shows the great artistry of photographers from the documentary to the abstract, from black and white to color, and from portraits to landscapes and cityscapes.”

Additional artists’ work featured at bG Gallery include Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Patrick Nagatani, Moby, Nick Veasey, Dan Busta, Ryan Schude, Marco Gualtieri, Gwen Adler and Susie Loucks.

The show opens from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and continues through April 25 at bG Gallery, Bergamot Station (G-8A), 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Visit santamonica.bgartdealings.com for more information.

Also at Bergamot Station, ADC Contemporary & Building Bridges International Art Exchange (Unit F2) and the Robert Berman Gallery (Unit B-7) are also hosting Month of Photography Los Angeles exhibitions.

On Sunday in Mar Vista, a special exhibit dedicated to the memory of Los Angeles bard Charles Bukowski — simply titled “HANK” — takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Buck Wild Gallery, at 12804 Venice Blvd.

Curated by Natalie Flemming, the group exhibition features Winnie Au, Cole Barash, Aaron Farley, Laure Joliet, Nicholas Maggio and others.

“The exhibition of work is inspired by the poetry, prose and brilliant filthy mind of Los Angeles native Charles Bukowski,” said Flemming, who became involved in Month of Photography Los Angeles when she first arrived here in 2011.

For more information about “HANK,” visit buckwildgallery.com.

Santa Monica Art Studios’ South Hall is hosting a one-day exhibition titled “Off the Clock” from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. The group exhibit, curated by the legendary Melvin Sokolsky, will feature photography by American Photographic Artists members.

This will be the second year that the national nonprofit organization has participated in Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA) activities.

“We are thrilled to be part of MOPLA! The 100 images chosen by Melvin Sokolsky will rattle your imagination. These images represent what the photographic community shoots from the heart,” said APA Los Angeles Director Lisette Kennedy.

Santa Monica Art Studios is at 3026 Airport Ave. in Santa Monica. Visit santamonica-artstudios.com for updates.      

monthofphotography.com.

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