To celebrate the acclaimed photographer’s 80th birthday and his outstanding life’s work, Leica Gallery Los Angeles showcases his newest photo series
Paying tribute to the milestone 80th birthday of renowned photographer Ralph Gibson, Digital Color will be presented by Leica Gallery Los Angeles through an exhibition and vernissage from January 17th, 2019 through February 24th, 2019. The exhibition will feature a series of captivating digital photographs taken by Gibson, who solely used a Leica Rangefinder and a 135mm Apo-Telyt-M lens to capture each image.
Born January 16, 1939, Gibson’s dedication to photography began in 1956 when he enlisted in the United States Navy and became a Photographer’s Mate Second Class. During this period, Gibson found his first success in photography by taking portraits of his ship’s officers, casting shadows and manipulating light for the first time. The portraits pleased the officers and established his presence on board. It was during this time that Gibson found the darkroom to act as a form of escape from his Navy life.
While continuing his studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, Gibson was loaned a Leica Camera for the first time by photography department director, Paul Hassel, which exposed Gibson to the world of Leica photography. He then moved on to pursue his professional career as an assistant to well-known photojournalist Dorothea Lange and photographer Robert Frank.
Today, Gibson is most recognized for photos that present everyday objects in a surreal fashion. His first photography book, The Somnambulist, sparked his lifelong fascination with book-making, which led to his works being featured in many to follow. His photographs can be found in over 150 museum collections around the world and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions.
Gibson spent 55 years in the darkroom before he was offered an opportunity to reinvent himself as a photographer by switching to a digital camera. When his Leica Monochrom arrived, he questioned whether he could abandon his earlier career for a new technology. However, upon using the camera, Gibson realized digital imaging could just as well reflect his personal vision and influence his future photography works, leading to his artistic personality today. Regarding the inspiration behind his Digital Color series, he shares, “The digital dialectic suggests that anything digital is compressed, and this applies equally to color. Saturation, hue and timbre serve to create an imagery unique and not very similar to analog film. For this reason, I welcome the idea of a new visual language; another system of control. Digital speaks in subtle ways, often producing an entirely different perspective.”
Roger Horn, President of Leica USA, notes, “It is with great honor that we present Ralph’s Digital Color exhibition at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles. We felt it was only fitting that we celebrate his outstanding photographic works as well as his deep loyalty to the Leica brand on this benchmark birthday.”
Released to coincide with his 80th birthday, Gibson’s new book, Self-Exposure, is an autobiography that touches on Gibson’s service in the Navy and his friendships with Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, and other renowned artists. The book premiered during Paris Photo on November 14th and at New York’s Strand Bookstore on November 20th. Leica Los Angeles’ Digital Color exhibit will officially launch the book in Los Angeles.
The Digital Color exhibition will be followed by a Master Workshop hosted by the Leica Akademie, where attendees can learn the art of bookmaking firsthand from the master himself. Digital Color by Ralph Gibson will be on display at Leica Gallery Los Angeles from January 17th, 2019 through February 24th, 2019. For more information about the exhibit or Leica Gallery Los Angeles, visit http://www.leicagalleryla.com.
About The Leica Gallery Los Angeles
Opened in 2013, The Leica Gallery Los Angeles was created to celebrate Leica photography. The Gallery provides unparalleled access to a rotation of curated exhibits, with imagery captured by classic and contemporary Leica photographers. Beyond the exhibition space, the Gallery also boasts a 1,200 square foot outdoor patio lounge. This serves as an additional location for Leica Akademie workshops, where professional and amateur photographers learn new techniques and get unique perspectives from featured artists. The Leica Gallery Los Angeles is open seven days a week at 8783 Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. For additional information, including lists of current and upcoming exhibitions, please visit www.leicagalleryla.com.
About Leica Camera
Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, design and experience. It is a beautiful collision of art and engineering, and the future of form and functionality. Leica Camera is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the supreme quality and performance of cameras and lenses, and the iconic images that artists and photojournalists everywhere captured with them. For more information about Leica visit www.leicacamerausa.com, or follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About The Leica Akademie
The Leica Akademie USA continues Leica’s long tradition of high quality photographic education through experiential events, creative workshops, exclusive masterclasses and destination trips throughout North America.
The Akademie’s goal is to increase the fun and enjoyment of photography, expand photography knowledge and bring the total Leica experience to a new generation of photographers. Leica Akademie programs are open to everyone. You are not required to own a Leica to attend. Whether you an experienced Leica photographer or just starting out, there is no better way to improve your photography than with the Leica Akademie.
The Leica Akademie offers a wide range of programs throughout the year in more than a dozen cities, more information can be found at https://leicaakademieusa.com/.