Photo la 2011


Photo l.a.  was made of “Authenticity”

by Beatrice Chassepot



Of course the art fair was not a big machine compare to others you see at Art Basel for example but the salon has a quite decent size, I would say a human size. 60 galleries in Santa Monica Convention Center.


I’ve been almost every day to the art fair and I can tell the quality of the photographs, whether it was contemporary, documentary or vernacular, was excellent. Whether the photographs were retouched or not, “Authenticity” is the word that best symbolizes Photo l.a..

Even the most technically sophisticated photographs showed a real sincerity in the subject it addresses. I think of the waves by Jay Mark Johnson or those by Chinese photographer Cui Xiuwen.


"storm at sea" by Jay Mark Johnson courtesy Stephen Cohen Gallery
“storm at sea” by Jay Mark Johnson
courtesy Stephen Cohen Gallery


In the field of topics, there was a photographer whose topic is an ancient one in painting but new in photography, I think of those cow boys from Puerto Rico by Werner Segarra (below).

I felt authenticity again when I went to The Light Work’s booth. They are a nonprofit organization and they highlight unknown yet photographers. Their selection shown was one of the most demanding regarding minimalism.


Nathan Lyons at Light Work
Nathan Lyons at Light Work


Authenticity in the documentary’s field when I discovered a page of America’s History hanged on the white walls of Monroe Gallery. They shown moving photographs with Martin Luther King, Ted Kennedy or George W. Bush and so on…

A photograph is not an image. This is much more than an iconic beautiful image even if the image is a good one. This was the very purpose of the art fair. Photo l.a. is the only place one can compare photographs and educate his eye at large. This is a long term education that makes the best collectors for the future.

Beatrice Chassepot, Los Angeles, January 20th, 2011