Just days after the opening of BEAUTY CULTURE, Leonard Nimoy visited the Space to take in the featured images and also check out his own photos in the exhibit. He'll be back at the Space again later this year, this time to discuss his photography as part of our IRIS Nights lecture series. Thanks for stopping by, Leonard, and we'll see you in September!
Opening up the BEAUTY CULTURE season of IRIS Nights last night was award-winning photographer Jill Greenberg. Jill has shot for such magazines as Time, Wired, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly - the list really just goes on and on and on.
Jill has been taking photographs since she was a little girl. She showed us this adorable photo of herself holding a toy camera, portending things to come in her adult life!
Jill's photographic work has a strong feminist point of view. One of her series features the United States Olympic synchronized swim team wading in a swimming pool - all while wearing heels!
Jill has quite a bit of experience photographing some of Hollywood's most famous beauties. She's shot her signature style of portraits for a slew of female celebrities including Hollywood stars Drew Barrymore, Jada Pinkett Smith Lindsay Lohan (above).
Jill has found herself under criticism for her "End Times" series in which she photographed several two-and-a-half and three-year old crying children. During the shoot, Jill took candy away from the kids in order to make them cry.
Jill defended herself explaining that the toddlers's tears don't mean that they were in any sort of pain during the photo shoot or will have any kind of permanent damage. As she said, her own kids cry when they refuse to go to sleep at bed-time!
Jill's been photographing animals pretty often these days. She's taken portraits of bears, horses and monkeys. Art collectors all over the world have been buying up prints for her popular monkey series.
The local NBC affiliate in LA came down to cover the exhibit and interview Jill about her IRIS Nights lecture. You can watch that news clip here.
Thanks to Jill and everyone who attended the lecture for making the first BEAUTY CULTURE version of IRIS Nights such a big success!
(All lecture images by Unique for the Space. Childhood photo by Jill Greenberg)
Photographer Aaron Huey's life simply screams adventure. He has shot for such for places all over the world for such high-profile publications as National Geographic, the Smithsonian Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.
Aaron began his IRIS Nights lecture reflecting on the theme of the current exhibition at the Space:
" He defines
We all go for walks, but nothing compares to how Aaron goes about doing it
- he really goes for a walk! He spent a good portion of his lecture on his series of photographs that focused on his trek across America in 2002. He and his dog, Cosmo, spent 154 days covering 3,349 miles from California to New York, walking every step of the way. That's sure to put some good wear and tear on your sneakers!
Aaron explained that this walk was not a photo project but
" It was a way for him to help clear his thoughts. He walks
"to be in the great unknown.
Like most of us, Aaron has a million things going through his mind at once and he wanted to purge these overwhelming thoughts. He provided a humorous (yet not too far-fetched!) visual of what his thought process looks like.
" slide above proves, humor is a big part of Aaron's personality and was also a big part of his lecture. He had the audience in stitches throughout!
In attendance that night was journalist and friend of the photographer, Alex Chadwick.
While traveling across America, Aaron revealed that, due to the generosity of the people he encountered, he only spent $250 dollars of his own money during his entire trip across America. He took people up on their charitable offers to feed him and put him up in their homes for the night. What did he get offered the most? Beer, bibles as well as other leisurely diversions.
Aaron also talked about the time he has spent documenting the people of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. It's a place he cares deeply about and he travels there several times a year.
Here's Aaron with the Annenberg Foundation's Charles Weingarten, who stopped by to say hello after the lecture. We're sure the two swapped quite a few stories about their own travels around the world!
You did such a great job at IRIS Nights, Aaron and best of luck on your next adventure! If you go for another long walk, remember to invest in a good pair of sneakers!
(All images by Unique for the Space)
Los Angeles Times staff photographer Barbara Davidson was awarded a Pulitzer Prize today in the feature-photography category for her work documenting the victims and the families of gang-related crimes. You may remember that these same images were included in last year's
"Pictures of the Year International
" show at the Space. Big congratulations to Barbara!
Barbara was featured in the digital feature for the show and had this to say about her work covering the gang violence for the Times:
"There are a lot of gang stories that we cover. We cover the shooting, we go to funerals and then we stop. We don't show really what happens to these people and how their lives are completely altered. I wanted to follow those stories through.
Click here to watch the digital feature of last year's
"Pictures of The Year International
" which follows Barbara on location and on the job.
(Top image from Christina House of the Los Angeles Times. Other images from POYi digital feature)
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.
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)
" featured photographer Paul Nicklen's photos of wild animals in the polar regions have awed many who have seen this terrific show. Last night, it was Paul's time to awe IRIS Nights lecture attendees with his amazing stories of what went into capturing those images.
The Space was jam-packed! Over 200 people attended the lecture, which sold out in a matter of seconds when tickets first went on sale a couple of weeks ago.
Paul's message is clearly one of environmental conservation. He cares passionately about the environment and explained that if the polar caps lose their ice, they will also lose polar bears an absolutely frightening thought!
One of the many death-defying moments he recounted in his lecture was the story related to the photograph above. During a trip to the Arctic, Paul's lightweight aircraft experienced engine trouble though he still kept taking pictures during the entire incident! According to Paul, it was all worth it because being able to photograph thousands of narwhals in the Arctic is not all that common!
Why does Paul enjoy taking so many close-up images of animals? He does it because he feels people would care more about them when they are seen in a more intimate light.
During his talk, Paul played several
" video clips of himself photographing in the wild. It was great to see how someone in the situation above...
...could end up with this amazing photo!
Paul also recounted the story of his four-day interaction with a female leopard seal who repeatedly attempted to gift Paul a penguin while both were underwater. Despite their sharp teeth, Paul insists that they are very gentle, kind animals.
Paul re-iterated his message of environmental protection throughout his lecture but he managed to inject quite a bit humor into his talk with a his funny deadpan delivery.
How can you help the environment? Paul wants us all to "chill out."
Before he left for the night, Paul stuck around to sign copies of his book, Polar Obsession. The cover of the book features one of his favorite photos - that of a polar bear and his reflection in the clear, glassy waters!
(All images by Unique for the Space)
It was my first week on the job interning for the Annenberg Foundation and already I was sent to cover one of our IRIS Nights lectures, a favorite among dedicated fans.
That night Mark Laita spoke about his new photobook, Created Equal, a collection of black and white photo diptychs contrasting the portraits of everyday Americans by putting, for example, a picture of Baptist minister next to members of the Ku Klux Klan or nuns next to prostitutes. The inspiration for the project is incredible: Laita left behind his polished life in the advertising world to find the real America he grew up with, the one he wanted to make sure the world would never forget.
But what stuck out to me was not necessarily his professional or captivating photos (which are absolutely incredible) but the way he engaged us in the process. I found myself leaning forward, completely engrossed in every word, waiting on the edge of my seat for the next description of the photo pair.
His tales of having breakfast with the Hell's Angels, coercing an Amish man into being photographed or becoming best buds with some weed farmers had me and the rest of the audience rolling in laughter. It felt like you were getting to know his subjects personally and the portraits became more than pictures, they were real life people who were living in the same country as myself. But that was the point. He wanted to elevate the raw and rugged America to a place of glamor and importance.
"I was trying to find hidden gems that are normally overlooked," said Laita during his presentation, "It's not about finding these grand/great people, it's about finding the ordinary people and making them look great."
Later someone from the audience asked him what statement he was trying to make with comparing nuns to prostitutes. Laita just smiled and said he meant to pass no judgment; he simply wanted to ask the question, "How then can two girls grow up in the same county and have two completely different fates?"
And from where I was sitting it was mission accomplished for every picture I saw I asked myself the same question. There are two men who look strikingly similar and I asked myself so how is it that one became a CEO and the other a janitor?
Learn more about Mark on his official website.
(All lecture images by Unique for the Space)
Matthew Rolston, an icon in fashion photography, came to entertain us at the IRIS Nights lecture yesterday. He also brought his long time friend, journalist Merle Ginsberg. Her questions and insight into Matthew's work helped reveal exciting information about his unique body of work.
Rolston confessed that he didn't see himself as simply a photographer or director but rather an 'idea' person, wanting to extend his talents into all areas of the creative world.
Rolston also explained his process of creation as collaborative and told stories of working with Anna Nicole Smith or Christina Aguilera. Aguilera actually came to him a year in advance in order to plan a photo idea for her upcoming album release.
Rolston then provided insight to his role in the industry and his vision for expanding the cannon of beauty. "For me photography is worship." said Rolston, "Human desire is about genetics - survival. The things we consider to be beautiful...go to the core of survival."
In a surprise turn of events the two guest speakers invited the entire audience to join them in a drink, outside on the plaza at our first IRIS Nights complimentary cocktail party.
Needless to say it was a glamorous night out with the Annenberg Foundation and two hundred of Rolston's closest brand new friends
Thank you Mr. Rolston for a lovely evening.
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!