So I went to Los Angeles. Most people think I’m in Los Angeles all the time, but that is far from the truth. I avoid LA as much as humanly possible. I can’t handle the traffic, congestion, residue of Hollywood and the throngs of…well…how do I put this politely….the wannabe celebrity masses who act like celebrities but without any of the talent or actual work. And there are hundreds of thousands of these folks. But when your better half has an image in an exhibition at Leica Gallery you put on your work pants, aim the trusty ten-year-old Prius north and you dive into the steaming cauldron.
As many of you know, I’ve used Leica cameras for a long, long time. Twenty seven-years to be precise, but I’ve had a falling out of sorts as the company has moved into the realm of the social media star, the celebrity and the finite few who can actually afford their equipment. I simply can’t believe how expensive the gear has become. A part of me says “Yep, this is just business,” but the other part of me wonders if there are any working photographers who can actually afford the equipment. Or even a strap for that matter.
Leica has a beautiful space in Los Angeles. Or Beverly Hills. Or Brentwood adjacent in real-estate terms.(This is an LA joke.) The upstairs gallery is big and bright, spacious and has an outdoor patio that could probably seat at least fifty people. The downstairs is loaded with the jewelry, books, artifacts, clothing, bags, etc. I’ve included a few images of these artifacts. A first edition “Decisive Moment,” and a $23,000 box set digital, titanium something. They also had these rope looking straps, which I could really use, but didn’t bother to ask about price as I figured it would be cheaper to fly to Ecuador, hike into the mountains, buy land, wait for the fiber to grow, cut the fiber, hire a team of weavers and commission my own. Then fly back. Until then I’ll be using my cheap strap.
The exhibition was a combo event. I don’t have the time to go into all the details but it was about Fresh Focus benefit auction which was for City Hearts Official A non-profit which has provided arts education to inner city kids in Southern California for over 30 years. Happy kids getting their work seen, and happy adults getting their work seen, bid on and eventually purchased.
My snide comments about Leica aside, the gallery and store are, at their core, about photography. If you are in Los Angeles, I’m sorry, but make the most of it and get over to the gallery. They have a great book selection, and that alone should be enough to get you to darken the door.