Extreme Exposure

Extreme Exposure at the Annenberg Space for Photography

Last weekend I hit the Annenberg Space for Photography to check out the Extreme Exposure show they’ve got up right now. The show profiles five photographers who’ve made careers out of shooting in extreme and/or hostile environments. First off, the Annenberg Space for Photography is a great way for anyone to spend a few hours just looking at great photography, and it’s free! Can’t beat that, right? Okay, with validation, parking costs a buck. It really is an amazing deal, especially when you consider its high-rent address and the sense that nothing in Los Angeles is free anymore. For example, I had dinner with my sister and her boyfriend after the show, and the valet for the Indian restaurant in the west L.A. strip mall parked her car about fifteen feet from where we were standing…in a strip mall parking lot. Seriously? If you’re someone who feels most of L.A. has too high an opinion of itself, you’ll get no argument from me. But the Annenberg is this great little beacon of artistic integrity in the middle of Century City.

I know what you’re thinking, “Artistic integrity? In Century City?”

Yes. Artistic integrity. In Century City.

This begs the question: Why even strive for such a lofty goal in Century City when there are pockets of L.A. much more suitable for such efforts? From what I’ve been told (and my source was solid), in order for the Annenberg Foundation to maintain its 501c status, they were required to convert a certain amount of their property there at 2000 Avenue of the Stars for use as a free public service of some kind. I guess Mrs. Annenberg is a fan of photography, so there you have it: a newly-built, free-standing building set off from the main high rise that houses the Annenberg Foundation’s headquarters, designed specifically for the purpose of exposing Angelenos to inspiring images and the people who produce them. What are you waiting for? Get in the car and go!

One of the photographers from the Extreme Exposure exhibit, Paul Nicklen, is speaking there tonight and I really wish I could go; his images were some that really stood out. His encounter with a leopard seal produced some images that will stay with me for the rest of my life. They’re featured on his site, so I guess you don’t really have to go to the Annenberg Space to experience what I’m talking about, but it’s a good time and Century City really is beautiful this time of year.

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