June 10-July 3, 2010
It could be said, by virtue of the movie industry and the enormity of all other creative output in the city, that Los Angeles is the most photographed urban area in the world. That is not to say that it is some Beaux-Arts fantasy of beauty like Paris, or has any of the romantic history of most cities Western and Eastern alike making for anything one could call picturesque or photogenic. Conversley, L.A. is the town of all things fabricated, manufactured and transported. It is also a mecca for 'un-creative' business, especially the small businesses specific to the many cultures of various origin that have establisihed the population of the expansive metropolis.
Most of this landscape is on wheels and is also occupied by the homeless, drug-addicted, criminal and otherwise abject margins of humanity. In contrast we find miles-long beaches full of steroid enhanced muscle and silicon inflated boobs, or verdant estates peppered with flashy mega-mansions of the mega-rich and mega-famous. This cultural cacophony and near total lack of genuine 'pretty' combined with a preponderance of vernacular architecture overflowing with Disneyesque movie-land cliche gives the region an abundance of subject matter that has fascinated photographers for a very long time.
From a blurry tuft of grass belonging to a suburban lawn to vast imposing panoramas of the entire basin, a movie shoot, winding freeways full of traffic, the faux Spanish baroque towers of downtown, or the classic silhouette of a row of palms—as a subject the Los Angeles region is an extremely rich treasure trove which has been exploited with an endless variety of approaches by generations of image makers. "L.A.NDSCAPES" is a large exhibit that explores this territory with the gusto to be expected from this group of highly innovative and technically adroit artist/photographers. It is by virtue of the efforts of visionaries such as these that a city that seems to have little to 'hang your hat on' in terms of identity, takes on an unmistakable character that is loved by its inhabitants and visitors alike, faults and all.
—Rex Bruce, June 2010
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