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1650 Gallery presents:

Juried Photography Exhibition:
Documentary & Street Photography


1650 Studio & Gallery, Echo Park
1650 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90026


Get Real: Documentary & Street Photography Photography Exhibition
Photo by Linnea Lenkus

Instructions for Exhibitors

1650 Gallery is hosting the juried photography exhibition
Documentary & Street Photography

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

Matthew Brady, American Civil War

The Whole Earth, 1972

Dorthea Lange, The Migrant Family

Lee Friedlander, New York, 1962

For almost two centuries now, fearless photographers have carried their cameras out of their homes and into the great unknown that resides beyond their front door, in an effort to quantify, clarify, and perhaps even objectify the world around them. Joseph Nicéphore Niépce did it first, in 1826, with an 8 hour exposure from the window of his countrynhouse. 35 years later Matthew Brady brought his camera to the American Civil War, and brought back bleak and grisly images of human conflict that still shock and amaze viewers 150 years later.

Then Alfred Steiglitz turned his lens on the work-a-day bustle of lower manhattan, then to the emerging majesty of the concrete skyline reaching skyward from midtown, and finally to the amorphous dance of clouds above his beloved Lake George home in upstate N.Y. And of course the great Henri Cartier Bresson spent his career as a citizen of the world, searching for "the defining moment" that captures the infinite complexity of the human experience in 1/125 of a second.

Dorthea Lange, Edwin Weston, Weegee, Arbus, Winogrand, Strand, Atgee, Freidlander, Larry Clark, Peter Hujar, Bill Eggleston, Nan Goldin... The list goes on and on, but the goal is the same for all; to make sense of chaos, to capture for the future the transitory nature of today, and to illustrate the present in a manner that is both text and subtext for the larger story at hand. The goal of the documentary photographer can ultimately serve just one purpose; to tell the big picture, and in so doing, combat the big lie.

Like the writer, the photographer must "shoot what she knows". Who else but an astronaut could shoot the soulful portrait of blue planet earth in the icy vacuum of black space, looking simultaneously majestic, defiant and frighteningly alone all at once? Just as Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took the first photo from the window of his country home in 1826, an astronaut in 1972 pressed his Hasselblad against the window of Apollo 17 and took that iconic photo of "The Whole Earth" we all know so well today.

What does all this mean? Simply that the best photographers must strive to see the profound in the most commonplace everyday occurrences. And the vision of that artist's eye, the ability to see the great unseen and picture the profound from the pedestrian, is the magic that continues to propel photography as a great art form yesterday, today and in the future.

This month 1650 welcomes your take on documentary and street photography. Our only advice -- study the greats, don't ape their work, show us the world around you and make us love you for showing it. good luck!

Fifty five works have been chosen for the GET REAL exhibition at 1650 Gallery in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Additional works have also be selected for an online gallery exhibition page.