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Photo LA 2012

Cinematic influences pervade the annual photo fair

by Max Gold in Culture on 18 January 2012

Photo LA was sprawled across the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium with as much bustle as the city itself. Wandering through the labyrinth of pop-up exhibitors, those that stood out most conveyed a strong cinematic narrative with a sense of humor.

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Pulp Art Book marks a collaboration between photographer Neil Krug and model Joni Harbeck. The collection of serial adventures is set against fictional landscapes of pulp cinema. The primal COYOTE episode chronicles the rugged existence of a hunter in the desert, while BONNIE follows the final minutes of a girl-gone-bad during a shootout.

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In his Skeletons in the Closet Klaus Pichler ameliorates the dusty archives of Vienna's Museum of Natural History with austere yet personality-loaded behind-the scenes-photographs. The stuffed animals become characters, or as Pichler puts it, "they are full of life, but dead nonetheless."

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Glen Wexler's large-format Improbable Realities weave awe-inspiring fantasy narratives. Wexler's attention to whimsical details is realized by his team of top-notch feature film motion graphics experts.

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Atlantic Garden by Ulu Braun conjures a seemingly infinite, psychedelic video collage. As the camera pans perpetually to the right, Atlantic Garden reveals idyllic scenes from a diverse selection of places and times.

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Maria Luisa Morando's Silver series reveals a vast triptych of over-exposed beach scenes from Southern France. Tired of details, Morando explains that she seeks simplicity in her images. The moody nostalgia of each landscape flows seamlessly into the next, drawing in viewers to lose themselves in the washed out colors, and identify with the obscure figures of beach-goers during magic hour.

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