Friday, April 30, 2010

"Night Lights" Featured on Robert Benchley Society Blog

Check out these great blog posts about DNJ's Night Lights exhibition!


Venice/Venezia at DNJ Gallery, Los Angeles
A message from Robert Benchley Society supporter and celebrated LA Noir photographer, Helen Garber--

Venice/Venezia closes at DNJ Gallery, 154 1/2 North La Brea this Saturday, May 1st at 5pm. The Gallery has done a great job of presenting my latest body of work and I hope that you can get down there to see it in person before then. And to those who missed my artist's talk, I am happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Best regards,


Continuing through May 1, 2010
DNJ Gallery, 154 1/2 N. La Brea
Los Angeles, California

Three perceptive photographers turn their faces away from the garish light of day to evoke the magic mystery of the night. Bill Sosin employs depth of field like a jazz musician whose mastery of basics allows his music to soar. He focuses on raindrops pelting his car's windshield, layering these beautifully articulated, sparkling gems over backgrounds of colorful soft focus splashes of light emanating from movie marquees, traffic signals and other barely identifiable sources.

Bill Sosin, Stop Lights
Bill Sosin, Stop Lights, archival inkjet print, 2006-09, 16" x 20"

In contrast, Helen K. Garber purposefully keeps elements in her black and white archival digital diptychs in focus, encouraging careful analysis of details in her witty study of similarities and disparities between famed Venice, Italy and the product of Abbot Kinney's dreams, Venice, CA. Garber utilizes piazzas, canals, arches, and even a boat named "Fantasy" in her engaging, poetic series. Elements in a stark local church are positioned to echo those of a chapel in Italy, but Garber includes a car in the shot, precluding any possibility of confusion.

Helen, K. Garber, Boats With Full Moon
Helen K. Garber, Boats With a Full Moon, archival digital print on canvas, 2010, 13" x 30"

The suggestion of danger lurking in Garber's photos of narrow passageways is amplified in
Ginny Mangrum's depictions of light emanating from interiors of locations that are normally closed up at night. Mangrum enhances the voyeuristic quality of her work in "Shop," which includes two headless mannequins.

Ginny Mangrum, Dining Room
Ginny Mangrum, Dinning Room, archival lightjet print, 2010, 16" x 20"

- Diane Calder

Publications by Simone Kussatz
Dienstag, 16. März 2010
DNJ's exhibit "Night Lights"

Three American photographers currently exhibit their work at DNJ Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Bill Sosin, Ginny Mangrum and Helen K. Garber. The exhibit "Night Lights" is a collection of night photography, made by using completely different approaches...

...While Sosin and Mangrum focused on one city at a time, Helen K. Garber put two cities together. Displayed as diptychs, she juxtaposed images of Venice, California next to images of Venice, Italy. As opposed to Sosin and Mangrum, Garber presents her black and white photographs on canvas, which gives them a painterly quality. Garber’s work -- inspired by an old photograph from 1922 showing her great aunt and uncle sitting in a gondola in the canal in the Italian Venice -- are not just beautiful presentations of two cities. They deal with issues of globalization and Garber’s shattered image of Venice in Italy. When Garber visited there for the first time in 2006, she was shocked by the throngs of tourists in crowded corridors. Hence she regards globalization critically, thinking it destroys rather than adds something to both cities. This reflects in Garber’s work, which shows both Venices with the daytime tourists gone and belonging again to their permanent residents.
Written by Simone Kussatz
Edited by Peter Frank

Night Lights at DNJ Gallery
by Carolyn Blais

Night—it can be a time of peaceful tranquility when all the world seems to be at rest; or it can be something more sinister—a time when nothing is as it seems. For many of us as children the darkness of the night presented a slew of frights. For me, a vivid imagination too often got the best of me as I saw a desk chair to be an angry lion or a bureau to be a looming monster once the lights turned off. Could it be the world transforms as day turns into night? Or are our minds just playing tricks on us? In any case, for whatever reason our perceptions of things seem to change at night—sometimes making the world more beautiful, other times more mysterious. A walk through the current exhibit at DNJ Gallery entitled “Night Lights” is what spurred these thoughts as the three artists on display present photographs of various scenes, all taken solely at night.

Having been sick for the opening of “Night Lights” on March 13, I head over to West Hollywood one week later on a Saturday afternoon, thankfully feeling much healthier. I climb the stairs to the second floor and enter a bright, clean space with lots of interesting photographs that immediately grab my attention......

Helen K. Garber is the third photographer whose work is currently on display at DNJ. Garber captures a most clever design in her work by taking photos of Venice, Italy and juxtaposing them with photos of the different yet sometimes similar Venice that is Venice, CA. I am touched by the artist’s inspiration: “an 8″ x 10″ photograph of [her] great aunt and uncle sitting in a gondola in the canal in front of the Doge Palace, marked Venice, Italy October 24, 1922.” Having looked at that photo as a child and then through her adult life, Garber finally got to see the real thing in her early 50’s. Anyone who has ever been to Venice, Italy can relate to Garber’s dismay upon realizing that the city’s charming canals and narrow passageway streets are often completely beleaguered by annoying tourists and filthy pigeons. While of course the beauty of the city still exists even under such circumstance, it took nightfall to allow Garber to more adequately document this beauty as most of the tourists had then returned to the comforts of their hotels or cruise ships. In this series of photographs there is, in my opinion, no need to deliberate as to whether the images are beautiful. The nighttime captured in both of these cities that share the same name is utterly breathtaking—whether it be of the canal verses the marina, or of sailboats verses gondolas, every picture made me smile with admiration.

“Night Lights” will be on display through May 1st and the exhibit is free to the public. Experience a little night magic through the works of these three very talented photographers whose work will not disappoint.

White Fireworks: Loving These Lately

The DNJ Gallery in Los Angeles is showing Helen K. Garber's new series Venice / Venezia, and I'm smitten with her black and white photographs. So the theme is a little obvious -- Venice Beach, CA and Venice, Italy. The silence in these night shots is haunting.

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