“As Above, So Below” Opens at bG Gallery, April 11th, Part of MOPLA

bG Gallery at Bergamot Station participates in MOPLA a citywide photography festival created by the Lucie Foundation. Realities and Concepts was the chosen theme this year.  “This year’s theme, is purposely broader than previous years designed to engage the widest audience possible,” said Jimenez, co-founder of MOPLA. “I left it open to interpretations and wanted to a wide response to the theme from different photographic perspectives.” 

Om Bleicher said he was very excited by this year’s theme. ”’As Above, So Below’ is a group show that celebrates the artists visual enquiry of the micro and macrocosms.” Although the gallery has only started showing photography for the past couple of years, it has proved to be an important focus for the gallery. 

Bleicher continued, “The saying has its roots in mysticism and the idea our earthly actions paralleling heaven’s, or the microcosmos echoing the cosmos. I left it open to interpretations and wanted to a wide response to the theme from different photographic perspectives.”

Bleicher has invited photographer Scott Tansey to once again show at bG Gallery. Two photos were chosen, both featuring iconic images and both taken on the same trip.

Scott Tansey, Church on the Spilled Blood  47 x 24 Framed

“The trip was taken with a former girlfriend. We went on a cruise. Before the cruise we stayed in London for 4 days. Then we went to Bruges, Amsterdam, the Kiel Canal, Berlin, Copenhagen, Riga, Tallin, three nights in St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm.” His mother had passed away in 2010 and he had left his job at a law firm.  “This trip was the last time I used film and I started to transition to solely digital. After this trip, over a few months I sold all my film cameras, and I am exclusively making digital images.”  

He continued,  “I really enjoyed a river cruise down the Spree River and visiting the Reichstag…Riga, a former city of the Hanseatic League. The city is gorgeous with Romanesque architecture. Tallinn, another Hanseatic League City. Still has its medieval walls, and most of the old city's building has red roofs.”

On the last day in St. Petersburg, after Tansey had visited Peterhof, the next stop was to visit the Church on the Spilled Blood, where Alexander II was assassinated. It was here that he took an incredible image of this historic church. Tansey said so much of his photography is unconscious, but he keeps his eye on the prize and by constantly looking around. When asked what he looks for he replied, “Something that looks great within the four corners of the image.  I hope to my own perspective on the image.  http://www.scotttanseyphoto.com/

Bleicher was intrigued with Gualtieri’s recognizable images used in his photography.  He cited “the down to earth beauty of vast natural environments and the juxtaposition of human and environmental elements.”

Marco Qualtieri, The Ocean: Title "A Story Told Twice - Marina di Pisa, 2012"  /  Size 25"x 37" (Framed)  /  Media Type: Archival Inkjet Print on Matte Paper   /  Edition  1/10  

Gualtieri’s works are both from a series called A Story Told Twice. “This set of photographs was made to reconnect myself with the place where I grew up,” said Gualtieri. “I was looking to create sort of a backdrop - theatrical scenery if you will - for what will ultimately be the tale of me.”

“I feel a kinship to certain landscapes - mostly places I'm familiar with or places that resonate with me. When setting up a shot, I carefully consider my position within the space. I do this to help process the emotional and intellectual experience I have with that place, in that moment. Once that is established, I can disappear and let the camera work.  I become an attentive observer, curious about what that image will express to me and what I can learn from it. It is this process of unfolding that keeps me photographing.” 

To find out more about Marco Gualtieri, visit his website at http://www.marcogualtieri.com/

Photographer Patrick Nagatani and painter, Andree Tracey have worked together since the 1980s and will have work in the show. Nagatani and Tracey captured intensely colored elaborately constructed tableaux in order to blur the distinction between nuclear family and nuclear disaster. 

Patrick Nagatani and Andree Tracey, Radioactive Inactives, Los Angeles, California, 1987-1988, Chromogenic print (Kodak Ektacolor Plus), 20X 16

Bleicher has gathered a talented group of photographers to be included in this year’s show, such as Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Patrick Nagatani, Moby, Nick Veasey, Theresa Flowers, Dan Busta, Ryan Schude, Marco Gualtieri, Scott Tansey, Leonard Monje, Tatiana Botton, Gwen Adler, Susie Loucks, etc.

The opening reception for “As Above, So Below” is this Saturday, April 11th, from 6:30pm-9pm at Bergamot Station, (G8A) 2525 Michigan Ave Santa Monica, 90404. The show runs through June 16. (310) 906 4211; http://www.bGartGalleries.com   

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