June 02, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I drafted this email on Thursday, just as the U.S. was pivoting from pandemic to turmoil. Over the last few days I've wondered, "Is it OK to send out a newsletter, even as our streets are flooded with demonstrations demanding justice?" It is not a new feeling. Since November 2016, one question has endured, "Is there a place for art in the world today?"

I hope so.

Valentino Suite – Alexandria Hotel – Los Angeles, CaliforniaValentino Suite – Alexandria Hotel – Los Angeles, California

Valentino Suite – Alexandria Hotel – Los Angeles, California
One of seven images in my L.A. Press Club Life in the Times of the Coronavirus 1st prize-winning photo essay


Last week, I won 1st place in the Los Angeles Press Club's Life in the Time of the Coronavirus photo essay competition, and 1st place in the Los Angeles Center of Photography's Creative Portrait exhibition, juried by Paul Kopeikin. (insert witty humble-brag re: winning prize money from both the LAPC & LACP)

I'm also proud to have work in my 8th consecutive Gallery 825 Out There exhibition, juried by Bert Green in association with West Hollywood Pride Month (June 12-30). And two of my images will be exhibited in-real-life at the Praxis Photographic Arts Center's Liquid~Sky (June 18-July 14), my eight show at the Minneapolis, Minnesota venue.


Julie & Mita – Arena Blanca, Bioko, Equatorial Guinea – 2011Julie & Mita – Playa de Arena Blanca, Bioko, Equatorial Guinea – 2011First printed: 2015

Shot on assignment in Equatorial Guinea, considered one of Africa's most notorious pariah states.

Julie & Mita – Arena Blanca, Bioko, Equatorial Guinea – 1st place winner: LACP's Creative Portrait exhibition


All this feels a bit insignificant against a painful legacy of social injustice, and a tad bittersweet with both the LAPC and Gallery 825 shows converted to online "exhibitions" due to health concerns. In no small irony, I'd just published an excerpt from my photography journal exploring the post-pandemic art world; specifically if virtual art is the future we want. Of course, online exhibits are what we have for now, so I guess I'm embracing that. (insert wink emoji)

Not coincidentally, I'll be a panelist on the ZoomCast Experiencing Art: Under Lockdown & Beyond, hosted by Juri Koll (Venice Institute of Contemporary Art), and featuring art luminaries Tarrah von Lintel (Von Lintel Gallery) and Claudia James Bartlett (Director, Photo LA). Please join us "here" on Thursday, June 11 at 1:00pm PST (20:00 GMT). There will be plenty to discuss during our 40-minute program.


Journal Entry – Chungking Studio – May 9, 2020Journal Entry – Chungking Studio – May 9, 2020Photo: Osceola Refetoff

Photography Journal Entry – Chungking Studio – May 9, 2020 – Click photo to read transcript
"As a collector as well as a photographer, I'm supremely conscious of the value of living with artwork, particularly so during this time of self-isolation.” 



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