Photo L.A. showcases local talent and images from around the world

Left: Fans of the USA Women’s National Team celebrate their 2015 World Cup victory in this photo by Ted Soqui. Right: Jo Ann Callis’ provocative art photography builds narrative around perceptions of the female body

The longest-running photography art fair on the West Coast, Photo L.A. takes over Santa Monica’s 35,000-square-foot Barker Hangar this week with special exhibits by galleries and booksellers and informative talks by local artists and experts.

The event kicks off Thursday with a swanky benefit for local youth-serving nonprofit Venice Arts. Honoring seminal Southern California photographer Jo Ann Callis, the opening night preview party features Callis’ provocative and poetic photography of the female body as well as a first look at the fair’s other displays curated by dozens of exhibitors from around the globe.

KCRW art critic Edward Goldman (“Art Talk”) leads a docent tour from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, and later that day Callis speaks with LACMA curator Rebecca Morse, independent curator Claudia Bohn-Spector and artist Brandy Trigueros about the resurgence of interest in her erotically charged 1970s work and what it means in a contemporary context.

“We all have a moment when we’re alive and people are interested. But I think people are more accepting of things now, whereas for a period, at least with the people I was with, it was really looked down upon to be emotional, to have the artist’s voice come through. … The art world is more open now, not so dogmatic,” Callis told AnOther Magazine about her retrospective at Santa Monica’s ROSEGALLERY last year.

At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, photo lab and book press A&I Fine Art + Photography hosts a special presentation and Q&A with international architect and photographer Laura Belevica and Los Angeles visual storyteller Ted Soqui, a frequent contributor to The Argonaut. (Tickets are $10.)

Both are expected to speak about adapting photography to various environments and succeed in creating various styles of image-driven narratives. Soqui says he plans to discuss perspectives on the industry, various techniques developed over 35 years of journalism and narrative photography in L.A., and how photographers can present themselves and their work to attain career goals.

“I’m going to talk about things like what to do when you show up in downtown L.A. and find 60,000 people at a rally for the teachers’ strike,” he says. “It’s basically all about how you tell a story with your camera.”

— Christina Campodonico

Photo L.A. runs from Thursday (Jan. 31) to Sunday (Feb. 3) at Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. General admission is $20 to $30. Visit photola.com for a more detailed schedule of events.

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