ART FAIR: Photo LA, 2019 Edition


27th Edition
Jan 31 – Feb 3, 2019
Barker Hangar – Santa Monica, CA

Same historical name, new team, new location for the 27th Edition

Photo LA is an entirely different experience.
We’re bringing the best of the photography world to your doorstep with a collaborative platform that links dealers and collectors with a gamut of galleries from around the globe. Internationally recognized, yet abundantly accessible, Photo L.A. cultivates connections between industry elite and up-and-coming talent alike. The longest running international photographic art fair on the West Coast, Photo L.A. has been in operation for nearly three decades.

Photo LA, created in 1992 by Stephen Cohen (read the article about Stephen Cohen here) was the very first Art fair specialized in Photographs -Paris Photo was created in 1997. Remember that in 1992 Photography was not even considered as Art.

Those for whom Los Angeles is home know that Photo LA is part of their DNA.

Photo LA must live, but Photo LA must adapt to the new Art world. The past years were a disappointment for collectors despite their unwavering support.

This 2019 Edition was very promising: energetic communication, location wise the Barker Hangar meets all the criteria required to set a LA signature when the LA Mart was not, the layout of the booths was excellent and the light impeccable. The number of galleries, 60, keeps to the art fair a human size which is always appreciated by Art collectors.

Essentially American galleries and Chinese galleries -for whom LA is traditionally the first step to reach the American market.

The art fair was divided in 4 axes: Panel discussion, Photo LA, Focus LA and Installations


during the 4 days with the best photograph specialists of LA like Weston Naef, Curator Emeritus, Department of Photographs who built an impressive collection of photographs for the Getty, or panels with the presence of wonderful artists like Mona Kuhn,  Rodrigo Valenzuala, Thomas Demand (extremely famous in Europe) or Jo Ann Callis…


is “a photo competition to help provide emerging and mid career artists/photographers opportunities to broaden their career opportunities and promote their work” Unfortunately this year’s exhibition was nos as exciting as it used to be…


Jo Ann Callis, Hands on Ankles (from Early Color Portfolio), 1976, courtesy of artist and ROSEGALLERY

– A solo show dedicated to the magnificent yet rigorous photographs by Jo Ann Callis and presented in the best longstanding LA Gallery, ROSEGALLERY

  • – A booth dedicated to a private collection: it’s always interesting to see the choices of someone’s collection… MAKING IT UP: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE MICHAEL AND JANE WILSON TRUST COLLECTION

PHOTO LA, The Exhibition

68 booths: 60 galleries, mostly American, Canadian and Chinese (8), 3 Schools (Otis, CalArts, CSUN), 2 Non-Profits BB Art Exchange, Venice Arts


@ SoPhoto Gallery, Beijing

This young Chinese photographer graduated in 2003 from the Central Academy of Fine Arts has already a long list of rewards. She uses her former job as a Flight Attendant as a pretext to explore a large palette of possibilities as photographer.

She is able to explore with as much talent portraiture, surrealistic stagings or singular worlds where she combines together dream and political sense, like in the last series presented at Photo LA. Brilliant.

Wang Lin has all the necessary criteria to become a renowned photographer

Wang Lin close to her seires “Stray Tulips” 2018 courtesy SoPhoto Gallery, Beijing
“Stray Tulips” series 2018 courtesy SoPhoto Gallery, Beijing


The gallery was showing a excellent selection of Jo Ann Callis photographs who was this year the well deserved 2019 Photo LA Honoree.

Excerpt from a New yorker’s article “Jo Ann Callis’s Color Work” by ,  March 6, 2014

Callis’s later work expresses tension and conflict through less erotic imagery. In her 1984 series, “Woman Twirling,” she photographed her subjects in a studio that adjoined her house, which she styled to look like the interior of a home. “As time went by, I became acutely aware of how we are confronted by the transience of the people in our life. I wanted to juxtapose that idea with very still objects. It’s really an attempt, photographically, to reconcile the two.” Callis’s carefully staged tableaux make oblique reference to this psychological conflict: in one photo, a tablecloth is being snatched from a set table; in another, a man laughs maniacally behind a house plant in the corner of a living room. READ MORE

BEST PORTRAIT: Obama by Brooks Kraft

Considering the current political context this large portrait of former President Obama suggested a large array of thoughts… Quite impressive…

Obama speaks in the rain during a campaign rally in Glen Allen, Virginia, on July 14, 2012 – Edition of 10

BEST TECHNIQUE: Daniel Carrillo at G.Gibson gallery, Seattle

Daniel Carrillo reuses the technique at the origin of the photography, the daguerreotype to bring to it a lovely contemporary touch


Norman Kulkin owns thousands of founds photographs he sells to Museum for the most prestigious ones and re-uses those left to make collages. Here he took off the photographs from their albums and assembled them upside down showing the part of the album left stuck on the photograph. It makes a quite interesting and meaningful abstract concept.

BEST PHOTOGRAPHIC SERIES: Max Steven Grossman  at Axiom, Santa Monica

In that Series “Bookscapes”  Grossman puts together all the all music records and mythic books that go beyond ages and frontiers..

courtesy Axiom