SPECIAL EVENT: January 21, 7pm in the A.G. Geiger Main Room
GUSMANO CESARETTI IN CONVERSATION WITH NAHEED SIMJEE AND HENRY HOPPER
On Saturday January 21 at 7pm, international photographer Gusmano Cesaretti and Senior Editor, Naheed Simjee will discuss their unique photography project titled Fotofolio.la in the main room of the A.G. Geiger’s Fine Art Books and Press. It is also the launch of Fotofoli.la Issue #10, A Tribute to the Photography of Dennis Hopper.
You want to be there for several reasons. First is that Cesaretti is a fantastic photographer and makes rare appearances. Second, he’ll be joined by Fotofolio.laEditor and respected art consultant Naheed Simjee to present their vision for Fotofolio.la’s in 2017. They will also be joined by actor Henry Hopper who granted access to some of his father’s previously unpublished work for issue #10. Third, it’s a fundraising party in the very cool A.G. Geiger Book Store and Press with a bar hosted by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
If you are not familiar with Cesaretti’s photography or his larger-than-5’-6”charisma, he is an internationally recognized photographer and a dynamic storyteller. This is because he has some amazing stories to tell! Part anthropologist – although he would never call himself that- Cesaretti has embedded himself with underworld cultures and consequently gained unparalleled access into the lives and the stories at the roots of their sub-cultures. From notorious Black motorcycle gangs in New York, to Lowriders in East Los Angeles, to the world famous Latin American Shaman, Maria Sabina (She refused to see the Beatles), to Columbian Prostitutes pimped by deadly drug dealers, Cesaretti has made incredibly powerful and beautiful photographs and has lived to tell the tale.
His methodology and interest in street cultures as well as Simjee’s long time expertise in street art (she was artist liason for MOCA’s 2011 Art in the Streets exhibit) compliment one another in their mission to bring photography to the homeless, the imprisoned and underprivileged. Fotofolio.la is an underground publication presenting the work of both well-established and emerging photographers. Printed in a folio format on newsprint, the magazine proves that photography is a universal language. Consequently, the printed photographs do not carry any explanation or narrative, other than a photo credit. The photos speak for themselves. It is distributed throughout Los Angeles to the homeless projects, prisoners and families in low income housing. Now 10 issues in, the event seeks to raise funds for new issues as well as raise awareness for the project.
Cesaretti and Simjee have been able to secure the rights to images from such luminary photographers as Larry Clark and Dennis Hopper but have also showcased the work of emerging talents as well. Cesaretti explains the odd appeal of his proposition to big name artists who otherwise hold their rights closely like this: “ I tell them, look, your pictures will be looked at by people who bring no art historical baggage with them. It may be revelatory, inspirational or they may just use the magazine to wipe their ass. They love that part.”
What does he hope will happen when such art is taken directly to the street like this? “Look. A lot of what we publish is a sort of portraiture of people like them, in tough situations, forgotten. You can see (in the photos) the beauty of a tagged wall in a rough neighborhood, the vulnerability in the eyes of a hardened prostitute. We don’t romanticize their plight and I honestly hope that they will wipe their ass with it if they get absolutely nothing else from it.”
Given that view, Dennis Hopper’s photography which comprises all of issue #10, is a perfect fit. That the discarded – in this case people- can be worthy of high art dovetails neatly into Hopper’s view of himself as an “abstract expressionist and action painter by nature, and a Duchampian finger pointer by choice,” subscribing wholeheartedly to the idea that “the artist of the future will merely point his finger and say it’s art--and it will be art.” Working during the ascendance of Warhol’s cult of celebrity, Hoppers photographs journal a personal ride across the cultural landscape of its time and might bring a particular resonance to an overlooked population.
Please join us in the store at 7pm on Saturday, January 21st. you will be glad you did.
Perfect Gifts for the 10 Ten Most Impossible People:
(certain fees may apply to insure packages arrive before December 25th)
# 10. THE MOTHER-IN-LAW
Whether or not you have a good relationship with her, In-Laws represent a particular challenge. You need to be thoughtful without being sycophantic; generous without seeming like a spendthrift.
We suggest the elegant candle holders (w/ candles and felt containers) by artist Jean Pelle. Made of exotic hardwoods, the beautiful holders demonstrate your contemporary sophistication while at the same time giving a nod to the traditional idea of the Mother In Law as the keeper of the family flame. Whether her idea of home and hearth is a candlelit Christmas dinner or a flamethrower evening of acerbic “zingers”, she’ll appreciate these lovely functional art objects.
Candle Holders by Jean Pelle
7. DAD UNDER $75
You want to show the old man you still care even though you haven’t called recently and you don’t like the new woman he is dating (she makes him dress younger than you.) You could just go with that and pick out some board shorts and flip flops for their upcoming trip to Hawaii, but even Quicksilver on sale will set you back $80 and that’s over your budget.
We suggest the new release of Dennis Stock photographs titled American Cool from Reel Art Press. The first anthology dedicated to one of the greatest American photographers of the 20th century, during his most celebrated period of the 1950s–1970s, American Cool will send your dad on a nostalgic joy ride while subtly reminding him that clothes do in fact make the man.
Dennis Stock: American Cool
4. YOUR 'FRIEND-WITH-BENEFITS" WHOM YOU DON'T WANT TO GET THE WRONG IDEA
You’re perfectly content in the current situation. Its fun, carefree and sometimes oddly comforting but you don’t want to send a “Lets escalate this!” signal. We completely understand, although you may want to review your aversion to commitments.
We suggest: Sasha Eisenman’s California Girls.
For American photographer Sasha Eisenman, California connotes a state of mind and a way of life, but also one particular image: the California Girl. A reminder of the days of free love, California Girls shows us the updated lifestyle in this first bound collection of Eisenman’s photography. You can present it as an affirmation of your commitment to non-commitment.
Sara Eisenman: California Girls
# 9. THE 28yr OLD GOD SON WHO STILL LIVES WITH YOUR BROTHER
The God Son to Father/ Mother relationship has shadowed the decline of religion as a guiding paradigm in which to structure relationships. For 28 years you have been remembering his birthday and the holidays with gifts. From that Playstation your brother forbade in the house to a computer for his 6th year in community college, you have been generous. But lately you’ve been viewing the relationship as a two way street that hasn’t seen any meaningful traffic coming from his direction.
We say he needs some inspiration to finally head out on his own. We suggest two titles that should inspire a vision quest of sorts. (including one by the "Easy Rider" himself!) Even if he is simply moved to wanderlust, he’ll be out of the house and your brother might forgive you for that Playstation in 1998.
The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip
Dennis Hopper: Drugstore Camera (not shown below)
6. THE CLUELESS, SOON TO BE "EX"
You’ve told yourself January will be a new start and that means losing a few pounds –like that 155 on your wispy boyfriend. He was so adorably sensitive at first but you’ve had it with the poetry readings and his fixation with French cinema.
How do you say: “Thanks, friend but here is a clue that I’m moving out next month”?
We suggest Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Nan Goldin's The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is a visual diary chronicling the struggles for intimacy and understanding among friends and lovers. Appropriate to your situation, this anniversary issue features all-new image separations produced using state-of-the-art technologies and specially prepared reproduction files, which offer a lush, immersive experience of this monograph/ bittersweet ending to your relationship.
Nan Goldin: Ballad of Sexual Dependency
3. THE BOSS YOU WANT TO IMPRESS WITHOUT APPEARING TO KISS ASS
The workplace is fraught with gift-giving pitfalls. That bouquet of flowers that showed up to a married colleague from a “secret admirer” on Valentines day fueled the rumor machine in ways that are still reverberating as the company Holiday party approaches. You have no such romantic designs on your boss of course – she is an ogre- but you do want to endear yourself without appearing sycophantic. Worst case, your career might hang in the balance of your gift selection. This is why the boss is number 3 on our list of most difficult.
We suggest the hand tooled leather pouch by Animal Handmade. Made with genuine leather, Animal Handmade has developed a special technique of imprinting that results in delicate and subtle imagery. Practical (it fits an iPad) but tasteful, itsthe perfect combination of business and pleasure (and perfect for priming them for that promotion.)
Hand Tooled Genuine Leather Pouch
1. THE SIGNIFICANT OTHER
We don’t know where you are in your current relationship so we will assume you are either 1. swimming in love, 2. treading water or 3. going down for the last time. Hope springing eternal, we will only suggest the perfect gift for the first case.
We suggest the platter made by Stanton Hunter. Hunter, a well known Los Angeles based artist whose work incorporates vessels, as well as autonomous sculptural forms, and site-specific installations.
The earthen platter will look fantastic on your table and be a reminder that love is circular as well as being a vessel, and is a perfect place on which to literally serve up the love!
Stanton Hunter, Earthen Platter
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! - A.G. Geiger
# 8. THE ARCHITECT
We don’t really see ALL architects as insufferable snobs – after all it’s the only profession that can provide a noble way to starve. Artists are expected to be financially challenged and selfish, if not just self-absorbed. Architects however hold the promise of building monuments to mankind and pocketing real change from it. Combining a mastery of engineering as well spatial wizardry, architects not only look how well designed your gift is, they will also comment on the wrapping paper selection and whether or not the bow is tastefully placed to compliment the sleek shape of the box.
We suggest the concrete and resign paperweights created by Los Angeles artist Erin Althea . While software rules the design day, construction documents are still produced for the hardhats and laid out on conference tables for the bankers. As objects in themselves, like a Scott Burton sculpture in miniature, they evoke marble plinths from which to carve an Acropolis.
Concrete & Resin Paperweight by artist Erin Althea (Only one left)
5. THE FRIEND FROM NEW YORK THAT WON'T STOP CONTRASTING ALL THINGS NY TO ALL THINGS"INFERIOR" IN LA
You find yourself in an inner monologue asking “Why did she move HERE then? She often has a point, and you do enjoy her friendship; but you can only hope the constant compare and contrast exercise will either burn itself out or she will return to her East Coast Camelot.
We suggest two titles: Silent Beaches, Untold Stories: New York City’s Forgotten Waterfront or Never Built, New York from Metropolis Books. Untold Stories transports the reader into the extraordinary past and present embedded in New York City’s more than 600 miles of coastline through a stunning selection of rare photographs, history, new fiction and contemporary art. Never Built, New York shows us that city as it might have been: 200 years of visionary architectural plans for unbuilt subways, bridges, parks, airports, stadiums, streets, train stations and, of course, skyscrapers. There is also a Never Built, Los Angeles so you could conveniently have one on your coffee table and move the rivalry to a whole new level of fantasy.
Silent Beaches/ Untold Stories
Never Built New York (not pictured below)
2. THE PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING (PWHE)- pronounced “Pee-Wee"
Like the architect (see number 8) PWHEs are discerning, but unlike the architect they are most likely very wealthy. The default gift for a PWHE is of course something related to a passion or hobby they have exhibited over the years. This is precisely the wrong thing to do. It’s why I amassed an unwieldy collection of small bovine nic-nacs from around the world. You start with a few pastoral paintings with cows in them and then friends assume you love cows. You can’t NOT display the gifts and the whole thing snowballs into a self-perpetuating nightmare. But I digress.
No, the PWHE needs a mental ESCAPE from their cushy quarters. They will never let on but they are trapped by their possessions. Give them a chance to wander the path less traveled.
We suggest two titles: Blight at the End of the Funnel or Surf’s Beat Generation.
Blight at the end of the Funnel is a comprehensive collection of Edward Colver’s captivating photographic works. For over 25 years, Colver has been one of the main documentarians of the Southern California punk rock scene. This book is a timeless coffee table album by one of the 20th century’s most important underground photographers.
Surf’s Beat Generation documents the post-World War II influence of Beatnik poetry, jazz and art interpretation around the California Coast that created a revolution in the Orange County surf world.
PWHEs will proudly put such books on their antique coffee tables.
Blight at the End of the Funnel: $29.95
Surf’s Beat Generation (not shown) $24.95
PLEASE CONTINUE SHOPPING!