photo l.a. 25th Anniversary: Jan. 21-24, 2016

Detail of “Pointilee” (1985) by Dani Olivier | Photo courtesy of photo l.a., Facebook

The international photographic art exposition, photo l.a. is celebrating its 25th anniversary Jan. 21-24, 2016. This edition marks the third year that photo l.a. is taking place at The REEF, located in the historic LA Mart building in Downtown Los Angeles. More than 70 exhibitors are expected to make this the biggest photo l.a. to date. With an average of 12,000 guests attending the fair, photo l.a. continues its tradition of celebrating photography in its many forms.

Each year, photo l.a. expands its uniquely diverse showcase of photographic art, ranging from 19th Century works to contemporary and innovative photography-based art. Participating galleries, dealers, museums, schools and nonprofit organizations help to define the past, present and future of photography.

To foster ongoing dialogue, photo l.a. curates and presents compelling programming that includes lectures, roundtable discussions, special installations and docent tours with distinguished members of the photography and arts community. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite.

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Opening Night Gala | Image courtesy of photo l.a., Facebook

Opening Night Gala (Jan. 21)

The fair kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. with the Opening Night Gala, held in honor of artist James Welling with proceeds to benefit Best Buddies International. Welling’s work ranges from uncanny black and white photographs to intense, colorful inkjet abstractions. His career has influenced an entire generation of young artists and photographers. Welling is an artist constantly seeking pictorial challenges, which he shares in each new body of work. Catering for the gala will be provided by Escuela Taqueria, cocktails served by The Spare Room and desserts from Confection Co-op. Tickets are priced at $80 and available at Eventbrite.

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Robert Mapplethorpe - "Self-Portrait," negative 1980; print 1990 | Photo courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum


Panel Discussions for Friday, Jan. 22 include “The Golden Decade: Photography at The California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, 1945-55, Ansel Adams & Minor White”; “Rock in Photography”; “On 25 Years of Collecting” with Weston Naef (J. Paul Getty Museum, Department of Photographs) and Michael G. Wilson (Collector, Wilson Centre for Photography, London and Los Angeles); and “Artists Take Issue: Photography and the Aesthetics of Activism.”

Saturday panels include “The Instagram Effect” moderated by Ivan Shaw (Executive Photography Director, Vogue); “ALT Process: Artists Working in Alternative Practices” moderated by Virginia Heckert (Curator, Department of Photographs, The J. Paul Getty Museum); artist James Welling in conversation with Virginia Heckert; and photographer Jim McHugh in conversation with art critic Edward Goldman (host of "Art Talk" on KCRW) “On Capturing the LA Art Scene Over the Past 40 Years.”

Sunday features “Collecting: Is Contemporary Photography a Myth?”; “Robert Mapplethorpe: Beyond Good and Evil” moderated by Paul Martineau (Associate Curator, Department of Photographs, The J. Paul Getty Museum); Latin American Photography in L.A.; and “Vision & Visionaries.”

Tickets to Panel Discussions are priced at $10 per person and are on sale at Eventbrite.


Docent Tours are taking place 9:30 - 11 a.m. on each day of photo l.a. Tickets are priced at $80 per person and available at Eventbrite.

  • Friday: Ryan Linkof - Associate Curator, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
  • Saturday: Ivan Shaw - Executive Photography Director, Vogue
  • Sunday: Paul Martineau - Associate Curator, Department of Photographs, The J. Paul Getty Museum
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Pharrell live in L.A. | Photo courtesy of Rob Shanahan Photography, Facebook


Numerous seminars will be taking place during photo l.a., including “The Collector's Circle: Getting Your Work Funded”; “The World of Inkjet Paper”; “15 Things You Can Do To Get Represented By a Gallery”; “The Fine Art of Travel Photography; "America Speaks: Our Story to Build a Culture of Peace"; “Better Black and White Photography with Lightroom”; “Backstage Pass with Music Photographer Rob Shanahan”; and “Portraiture with One Light.”