Oct 202017

                                                            Fanon (Even the Dead Are Not Safe) 2017 (image via Metro Pictures)

Artificial intelligence is a growing field with numerous implications for the future, some more sinister than others. Trevor Paglen’s current exhibition at Metro Pictures gives some insight into this evolving technology.

From the Metro Pictures press release-

Trevor Paglen’s A Study of Invisible Images is the first exhibition of works to emerge from his ongoing research into computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI) and the changing status of images. This body of work has formed over years of collaboration with software developers and computer scientists and as an artist-in-residence at Stanford University. The resulting prints and moving images reveal a proliferating and otherwise imperceptible category of “invisible images” characteristic of computer vision.

Paglen’s exhibition focuses on three distinct kinds of invisible images: training libraries, machine-readable landscapes, and images made by computers for themselves. For Machine-Readable Hito, for example, Paglen took hundreds of images of artist Hito Steyerl and subjected them to various facial recognition algorithms. This portrait of Steyerl presents the images alongside metadata indicating the age, gender, emotional state and other signifiers that the algorithms have interpreted from the images. In another portrait in the show, Paglen trained facial recognition software to read the face of philosopher Frantz Fanon. A ghostly image of Fanon shows the facial signature–the unique qualities of a face as determined by biometric recognition software–used by computer vision to identify an individual.

To make the prints in Adversarially Evolved Hallucinations, Paglen trained an AI to recognize images associated with taxonomies such as omens and portents, monsters, and dreams. A second AI worked in tandem with the first to generate the eerie, beautiful images that speak to the exuberant promises and dark undercurrents characterizing our increasingly automated world.

The video installation Behold These Glorious Times! brings together hundreds of thousands of training images routinely used for standardized computer vision experiments and pairs them with visual representations of an AI learning to recognize the objects, faces, expressions and actions. A loose narrative begins to emerge about the collapsing distinctions between humans, machines and nature. Electronic musician Holly Herndon composed a soundtrack using libraries of voices created to teach AI networks how to recognize speech and other acoustic phenomena.

The image below is one of the prints from Adversarially Evolved Hallucinations. A series of these images, presented all in one room in the back gallery, are particularly unsettling as they have elements that seem familiar while remaining distorted. As artworks, they are captivating in their strangeness as well as their beauty.

                                                                Porn (Corpus: The Humans) 2017 (image via Metro Pictures)


The exhibition also has a printout with more detail about the creation of the work that goes beyond the press release, located at the front of the gallery. Make sure to leave time to take in this fascinating show. A Study of Invisible Images closes 10/21/17.

Mar 042017

                                                                         (above work by Sandra Low, Steve Seleska, and Amy Kaps)

Currently at Walter Maciel Gallery is With Liberty and Justice for Some, for which the gallery invited artists from across the country to do 8×8 inch portraits of individuals who came to the United States as immigrants- including historic subjects, personal friends, relatives, strangers, and sometimes self portraits. The gallery is also donating a portion of each sale to various non-profit groups including ACLU, Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, Center for Reproductive Rights, and the LA and SF LGBT Centers. Also showing at the gallery is I.D. Please!, with works by artists Hung Liu, John Bankston, Lezley Saar, John Jurayi, Maria E. Piñeres, Nike Schröder, Dana Weiser and Monica Lundy, who have all developed studio practices based around notions of identity.

This exhibition closes 3/4/17.

Also closing this weekend in Culver City-

Egan Frantz’s The Oat Paintings at Roberts & Tilton

(image via Roberts & Tilton)

And at Kopeikin Gallery are Ardeshir Tabrizi’s Observations in Linear Time (palm tree), and Jason Engelund’s Meta-Landscapes and Visual Ambient Drones (blue).

(images via Kopeikin)

Dec 212016

42125_01_web3        Blue, 2016 (image via Matthew Marks Gallery)

42166_01_web3 The dead baby boy USA, Berlin, December 2015 / Shadow of baby, Berlin, December 2015 (image via Matthew Marks Gallery)

41994_01_web3-1Motherlove: Ayla and Tjioe in a Berlin bar, New York, June 2016 (image via Matthew Marks Gallery)

Nan Goldin currently has two exhibitions in New York City. The Museum of Modern Art is showing The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, a slide show of almost 700 images Goldin took documenting her life and the lives of those around her, starting in the 1970’s and continuing through 2004. The show has taken place in various iterations throughout the years and includes a soundtrack with music from The Velvet Underground and James Brown among others. While it plays you watch the people in these images party, fight, get married, have children, and sometimes, like Goldin’s good friend Cookie Mueller, die, all in a span of about 45 minutes. It’s hard to see these photos and not be left wanting to know more as you are drawn into this intimate world.  This exhibition runs until 2/12/17.

It’s interesting to see the work at MoMA and then to see Nan Goldin:blood on my hands, at Matthew Marks Gallery. It is the first public exhibition of her drawings as well as her new “grid” photos. The small drawings come from diaries Goldin has been keeping since childhood. They are often disturbing but the content adds insight into the personal life and thoughts of someone who has already shared so much. You can also see parallels in the drawings and her photo work, in terms of both content and style.

The photos in the exhibition are large pieces, each created around a specific color, and each taking up a wall in the gallery. The images that combine to make them are from different places and time periods and yet they flow as if they were always meant to be arranged with each other. The results are more contemplative then her other work and an interesting progression.  This show closes 12/23/16.


Nov 282015

Melinda Gibson


Grete Stern


Carolle Benitah

Her First Meteorite, at ROSEGALLERY, is a wonderful selection of photographic collages by Carolle Benitah, James Gallagher, Melinda Gibson, Ken Graves, Stéphanie Solinas, Annegret Soltau, and Grete Stern. The work included in the exhibition ranges in time period from the late 1940′s to present day. Each of the photographers included brings a unique perspective to the different ways a photograph can be altered to create an effective image.

This exhibition closes 11/28/15.

Sep 122015

Thomas Demand

Catherine Opie

Florian Maier-Aichen

Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition, organized by UCLA art department professor Russell Ferguson and currently at the Hammer Museum, is an engaging exploration into the concept of creating a photograph.

From the museum’s statement:

When we say of a portrait that it is a perfect likeness, we mean not just that it accurately delineates its subject. There is a further implication that the image penetrates beyond surface appearance to give us some deeper sense of the person depicted. The same logic can be applied more broadly. There was a time when it seemed a plausible goal for the artist to resolve a picture so conclusively that the result of his or her work would potentially transcend simple representation to reveal the essence of the subject. Today such a project might seem naïve.  We are glutted with images. What single picture might separate itself from this flood? Any such attempt to make such a work will lead inevitably to the question of composition. This issue is perhaps most urgent for artists working in in photography, a medium that now pervades every corner of daily life. The exhibition Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition looks at artists’ work with carefully composed photographic images.

The images chosen for the exhibition are often not exactly what they seem on first glance. Thomas Demand’s Diving Board is actually a model created in cardboard and paper. Florian Maier-Aichen’s La Brea Avenue in the Snow was inspired by a historical photo which he then created by drawing in snow on to his photo of Los Angeles houses and adding cars from different eras. Catherine Opie’s portrait of artist Lawrence Wiener appears at first like a Rembrandt painting but it’s the details within the image that draw you in for another look.

There are so many incredible images in the exhibition, it’s hard not to want to talk about them all. Check it out this weekend for free with two exhibition tours given by Russell Ferguson on Sunday (it closes 9/13/15).

(images via Hammer Museum and Art in America)

Jul 182015



Closing Sunday, July 19, “Larry Sultan: Here and Home,” is the first retrospective of the California photographer. http://bit.ly/1K0WJHU

In the video below, fellow artists and former students describe what it was like to learn from Sultan and his work.

Definitely a must see exhibition. To see more of Larry Sultan’s work check out his website- http://larrysultan.com/

(images via LACMA tumblr)

Apr 182015





The honey poured on the subjects of Blake Little’s portraits, at his current exhibition Preservation at Kopeikin Gallery, creates a strange effect. With their eyes forced closed they become frozen in time, transformed from their former selves into something completely different.

Check out the exhibition before it closes 4/18/15.


(images via Kopeikin Gallery)

Jun 072014


Photo by Robert Capa of Private Huston S. Riley at Omaha Beach

Today, June 6, 1944, is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, when Allied (American, British and Canadian) troops invaded a 50 mile area of the Normandy coast in France. The Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history and contributed to the Allied victory in the war.

Photojournalist Robert Capa was there, and took one of the most famous pictures from that day. It was one of only eleven images from the ten rolls of film he was able to bring back that survived, due to an accident in the darkroom when they were being processed.

The Vanity Fair article link below is a great portrait of Capa and also details his experience on D-Day.


For more information on Capa and a collection of his other images, Magnum Photos (which he helped to found) is worth checking out.


Artsy is also a good source for artist information and lists current exhibitions and related artists for further exploration.


Feb 142014


Liz Larner at Regen Projects

This is the final weekend (closes 2/15) for Liz Larner’s show at Regen Projects.

From the press release:

Regen Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of new sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Liz Larner.The exhibition brings together her recent navigations of geological poiesis, fissures, folds, curves, and reconfigurations, and includes wall-mounted ceramic slabs, a large stainless steel X sculpture, two paper-based planchette pieces, early photographs, and a new “culture” sculpture. Larner has shown at Regen Projects since 1989, and this presentation marks her seventh solo exhibition at the gallery.

The photos in the side gallery are particularly worth noting.  Placed near the pool at the Tropicana Motel in Los Angeles, are single jars filled with different objects- in one, guitar strings submerged in pool water- while people sunbathe or use the pool. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, both the objects within the photos and this work within the entire show.

Jan 232014


***************SUNDAY CALENDAR STORY FOR JANUARY 19, 2014. DO NOT USE PRIOR TO PUBLICATION.*************** 'Espera Cayo Granma Santiago'. Andrew Moore's photography exhibit "CUBA" will be on display through Feb. 15 at the Couturier Gallery. Photo Credit: Andrew Moore.

Andrew MooreShadbolt_Ranch-Cherry_Couty-NE

Photographs by Andrew Moore (Bano Rojo, 2000 and La Espera, Cayo Granma, Santiago de Cuba, 2012 and Cash Meier Barn, Shadbolt Ranch, Cherry County, Nebraska)

The images from Andrew Moore’s show currently at Couturier Gallery are both beautiful and sad as they show Cuba as it is now, while at the same time the evidence of what it once was is all around.

The beauty of decay is also evident in some of the images from another of Moore’s subjects, Nebraska. These images are currently on view in New York at Yancey Richardson gallery.