BEAUTY CULTURE's run at the Space is currently at it's half-way point and visitors continue to flock to the show. Among those who stopped by this past weekend was Fran Drescher, who was super-friendly. Thanks for checking out the exhibit, Fran!
Yes we've reached another great moment at the Photography Space...a new exhibit in conjunction with National Geographic's special single-topic issue focuses on the world's freshwater crises.
We also celebrated our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
On hand to help us launch the new show and offer a hearty happy birthday were all the nice folks from National Geographic: (L-R) Sandra Postel (NG Freshwater Fellow & Director of the Global Water Policy Project), Terry Garcia (NG Executive VP, Mission Programs), William Marr (NG Director of Photography; rear) Wallis Annenberg (Annenberg Foundation Chairman of the Board, President and CEO; front), Sarah Leen (Senior Photo Editor for National Geographic magazine), Lynn Johnson (featured photographer - "The Burden of Thirst"), Jonas Benkdiksen (featured photographer, "The Big Melt"), John Stanmeyer (featured photographer, "Sacred Waters"), Chris Johns (National Geographic magazine Editor in Chief) and Dennis Dimick (National Geographic magazine Executive Editor)
This is another shot without the photographers but with our own Pat Lanza, the Talent and Content Manager for the Space. And here's one with just Wallis and the photographers who attended.
(L-R; John Stanmeyer, Wallis Annenberg, Lynn Johnson, Jonas Bendiksen)
What is the show like? It's intense.
At a small cocktail party/reception we hosted a few hundred people who took in the images - some beautiful and some tragic - before gathering in the digital gallery to hear a few words and watch the digital feature. Among the guests were previous exhibitors in the Space like
Laurence Ho (L8S ANG3LES Exhibit),
...and Lauren Greenfield (L8S ANG3LES Exhibit)
...not to mention a number of our lecturers like Juergen Nogai (with his lovely wife Jeannie)
...Gerd Ludwig who is also actually an exhibitor in the current show. (here with Chris Johns of NatGeo)
...Rick Rickman (seen here with some party crasher).
...and Douglas Kirkland's divine wife Francois!
We were also graced by the new Director of MOCA, artworld emprassario Jeffrey Deitch!
Once inside the Digital Gallery,
we were treated to a small introduction by
Leonard Aube (Annenberg Foundation Executive Director)
...and then some lovely words from Lauren Greenfield who heralded our first year, revealed that her first job was as a NatGeo intern, and brought Wallis to the podium.
...then Wallis introduced NatGeo Editor in Chief Chris Johns, who
...wait for it
...wait for it
...introduced the show!
You can watch it online by clicking the image above, but if you really want the full experience, I think our 7'x14' screens are a better way to see it. So come down to the Space, Wednesdays through Sundays, 11am-6pm (Except Thursdays when we close at 5pm to prepare for the lecture).
And take a look at the upcoming lectures to make sure you don't miss any speakers in this vital series about Our Thirsty World!
(all images © Angela Weiss for the Space)
Yesterday we were host to Kitra Cahana, the photographer whose powerful portraits of nomadic youth became our street banners for the current exhibit "The Year".
We all have Kitra Cahana's father to thank for encouraging her interest in photography starting at a very young age. Last night, Kitra described to the audience at IRIS Nights how, as a young teen, he would ask her to capture her emotions with a camera.
Amazingly, Kitra's never had any kind of formal training in photography - going out and photographing the world was her only education in the medium. Talk about being born with a keen eye!
Kitra's professional career began at the very young age of 17 when one of her photographs covering the Israeli Disengagement of Gaza made the front page of the New York Times. A few years later, she would go from the pages of the Times to their physical offices where she ended up as an intern with the paper.
One advantage of photodocumenting dangerous conflicts in places like Gaza and the Congo at a young age, is that you may not realize how much your life is in jeopardy while in these situations.
Kitra revealed that the danger aspect of the job never crosses her mind! This kind of wide-eyed invincibility might be what helps Kitra produce such riveting pictures from around the globe.
In attendance were several members of the Rainbow Family, whom she featured in her popular Rainbowland series.
It's nice to see that she's remained friendly with some of her photo subjects!
Kitra's talents don't lie exclusively in photography. During the lecture, she read some of her own poems inspired by and created from her still images.
Kitra explained that she uses poetry to create a more comprehensive body of work and intends to continue to explore the marriage of different artistic mediums in future projects.
Such great insight into the mind of an incredible natural. And to think, Kitra still has many more decades of work ahead of her!
Can't wait to see more!
For more information about Kitra and her projects, visit her official Website.
(All images © Unique for the Space - except iPhone photo of the Street Banners)
Donna O'Meara is the last
" featured photographer to participate in our IRIS Nights elcture series. You may remember that her husband (and fellow volcanologist) Stephen O'Meara was the very first lecturer for the exhibit. Donna delivered a terrific, inspirational lecture about volcanoes, passion and the journey of life.
Donna, who lives on top of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, started her lecture by reciting a traditional Hawaiian thank you chant - a first at IRIS Nights.
She showed the audience photos from her wedding to Stephen, which took place on top of Kilauea. You can't tell in the photo above, but they both wore sneakers during ceremony - just in case they needed to run for their lives!
Donna recounted the time when National Geographic first hired her and Stephen for a photo shoot. The magazine let them choose the volcano they wanted to photograph. The two eventually decided on one located in Stromboli, Italy where they camped out for 39 days and survived 534 eruptions.
This expedition led to her and Stephen's own National Geographic television special titled Volcano Hunters!
Donna's theme of accomplishing what you want no matter the obstacle carried over to her story about her journey to Antarctica in 2009. It was on that trip that she met Barbara Jones, the 94-year-old only living child of Edward Nelson, the explorer who was part of the first official British exploration of Antarctica.
Donna became close to Barbara during the trip. She explained that she had always wanted to see the place where her father worked on the continent. Tragically, Barbara passed away during the trip.
Donna's volcanologist boots have been on display during the entire run of
" She said that even though she has a new pair, she wants her old ones back because they are so comfortable.
Donna ended her talk with words of inspiration and encouragement. No matter how old you are, make sure your dreams come true!
She stuck around to sign copies of the several books on volcanoes she has written over the years.
Thanks for the motivational talk, Donna. And don't worry, your boots are on their way back to your home in Hawaii!
(All lecture images by Unique for the Space. All others are by Donna O'Meara)
Here are a couple of photos of two celebrities who (separately) recently visited BEAUTY CULTURE: Actress Mena Suvari...
...and actor Billy Zane who brought his model girlfriend Jasmina Hdagha and their adorable baby daughter Eva.
Daniel Beltra kicked off the IRIS Nights Lecture series for the WATER: OUR THIRSTY WORLD exhibit last night with a wake-up call of a lecture.
A very soft-spoken but decidedly NOT timid man, Daniel took us on a virtual tour through the hills of Patagonia, Alaska, the Ross Sea and the Amazon Rain Forest.
Through the process he was able to address glaciers shrinking, ice caps melting,
animals being threatened with extinction,
and all the other fun stuff you'd expect to hear about on a Thursday night out.
It was pretty intense stuff - A perfect match for our current exhibit.
Thank you, Daniel, for a great launch.
(All photos © Unique for the Space)
We first met Katie Falkenberg during last year's POYi exhibit when her "Sugarcane Worker" portrait had just been honored by the acclaimed photojournalism contest. Her work is featured again in the current exhibit and this time she made sure to come out and speak at IRIS Nights. You wouldn't know it based on how at ease she was in front of the audience, but last night's IRIS Nights talk was the first time Katie had ever given a lecture. What a natural! She displayed an immensely charming presence and a warm smile that captivated the audience the entire evening. Katie divided her lecture into two halves, dedicating each part to a specific photography project. The first half focused on her series of photographs about domestic violence in Pakistan titled "In The Name of Honor." Shockingly, 70-90% of women in Pakistan are victims of domestic violence and Katie's moving images helped shed light on their stories. Her series "Mountaintop Removal" tells of the drastic effects Mountaintop coal mining has on certain communities in Kentucky. At the end of the evening, a still smiling Katie shared more about her work by graciously spending time answering questions from those who came out to hear her speak. We're honored to have hosted your first lecture, Katie. You did a great job! We hope to see you speak again at the Space very soon! For more information about Katie visit <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.katiefalkenbergphotography.com/" href="http://www.katiefalkenbergphotography.com/" "target="_blank">her official Website. (All images by Unique for the Space)
The Space has been open for over two years now and our seventh exhibition will be here sooner than you think - May 21st to be exact. We couldn't be more excited!
BEAUTY CULTURE is a photographic exploration of how feminine beauty is defined, challenged and revered in modern society. The exhibition will include images from some of the most highly respected and world-renowned photographers in the beauty and fashion world.
© Felicia Webb
BEAUTY CULTURE will feature 170 images in our print show and over 500 in the digital one - one of our largest shows ever!
Quick note: Keep in mind that BEAUTY CULTURE does include graphic images, such as those of explicit medical procedures and nudity, and may not be appropriate for all ages.
You'll find an array of photos of beauty pageant contestants in BEAUTY CULTURE. From Miss Senior California, the one and only Pink Lady (you might recognize her Botox-injected lips from our exhibit banners throughout L.A.) to Susan Anderson's toothy-smiled, Beauty, age 4, which greets visitors in the Space's entrance hallway - we see these women prepping for the show and competing as well.
But what happens after the contest?
In celebration of the Miss USA pageant's 60th anniversary, Time Magazine recently asked Anderson (who lectured at the Space and signed copies of her book, High Glitz, on June 16) to shoot portraits of 31 of its past winners. These queens still have some set ideas about pageant culture.
Miriam (Stevenson) Breckenridge (Miss USA, 1954) now 78, told Time: "...you don't want to be thought of just as the beauty queen. People only remember me for being Miss USA and Miss Universe even all these years later."
Meanwhile, 75-year-old Myrna Hanson (Miss USA, 1953) weighed in on artificial beauty: "At that time, you didn't dare put any pads in your bathing suit, but now I look around and see silicone everywhere. I don't think young people need silicone any place, any time anywhere. It's what you do with what you've got that counts."
To see all of Andersen's portraits in the Time piece, click here.
If you haven't yet seen BEAUTY CULTURE, come see it now before it goes away in November!
POYi winner Balazs Gardi, who was one of the featured photographers in the 66th POYi Exhibit last year, returned to the Space to present an insightful and heartfelt lecture on marginalized communities facing water crisis.
Balazs, whose works are mostly independent, started his presentation with his images documenting conflict situations in Afghanistan. His presentation also covered communities experiencing water related crisis in Australia, Dubai and even Las Vegas.
Balazs is known for using photography as a base but layering it in way that reaches out to people. His unique presentation was a multimedia feature that included audio, still images and motion graphics.
At the end of the lecture, Balazs shared his views on modern social utilities, such as Twitter, as an independent voice and alternative to traditional media outlets. Social media is a new way for like minded people to share experiences on water related issues that won't appear in traditional media sources.
The lecture was followed by some very pointed and interesting questions from the audience, fielded by an unflappable Balazs.
Despite the gravity of the discussion, the lecture was well balanced with fear, hope and even some humor.
One question in particular focused on the frustration of solving the problem of water crisis and whether an actual solution exists.
Balazs answered very adamantly with "I think every problem has an answer to it
...I am a very optimistic person with a lot of cynicism."
(All Photos © Unique for the Space)