Jan 16, 2013


When someone attends a social gathering, especially in a city like Los Angeles, it’s an assumed law that certain variations of iconographies and variety of society will entail. This is important when it comes to the promotion of big tent attractions, such as the “Markus + Indrani – Icons: An 18 Year Photographic Retrospective, because as these are celebrity portraits on display, the attraction will be hit or miss when it comes to how well this exhibit does.

Fortunately, Carmen Electra, and her merry host of business partners, who have roadshowed this attraction from New York to out here in L.A., have found ways to keep the ginger and tonic of the art, flowing through the gallery so as not to let this scene fade to black.

Shown at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery on 170 S. La Brea, this spectacle of bedazzling proportions is glamorously displayed, creating a hip, new way to attend an art show, a way that was prominent in the 1920s. Part of what makes this such an appreciation for a lost time, is the rise of the artwork set against the backdrop of huge white walls. This creates the aesthetic of the features really standing out, even against one another. Though a staple of many art galleries around the country, it stands out here with the glitz and aplomb that comes from the sensation of viewing the photography.

This very photography was displayed last night, where an opening ceremony was held in the art show’s honor, with which was met with ultimate success. Some of the potraits on display were well known- Beyonce on the cover of her biggest solo blaster Dangerously In Love– and some of them pure artistic prospect- glistening diamonds surrounding a female eye, aptly envisioned as ‘Diamond Eye’.

To say the least, the newer, younger generation has definitely taken to this form of art exhibition. Celebrities, artists, photographers, et al were in attendance, creating a flare of nightlife extravaganza that could light up the darkest of street corners on La Brea. In addition, cocktails were served the masses, and a sort of fusion-music of pop/jazz was blared to the liking of all the beautiful people who came out to play. The people themselves seemed to be drawn to the allure of the art, glamour, sparkle, or otherwise. There was indeed, a fantasy about the night that captured the scene, and turned the gallery into a ballroom, where laughter’s echowas trumped only by the boldness of some of the patrons outfits, which ranged from neon concrete to devastatingly beautiful shades of black.The only thing missing from this affair were cigarettes, cigars, and the occasional flapper!

It helps, that this event was put on by a bunch of youngsters working in PR. That actually might be the biggest asset of this wonderland of portraits, the PR. Business molds with their friends were entering and exiting like a colossal Aaron Spelling soap opera, and this made for on-going excitement. Never a dull moment. And the biggest surprise of all – people were actually talking about the art! It may be more of a rage than this reporter would surmise, but when it all comes down, the Markus + Indrano Retrospective proves that photography can still be appreciated, even in the most irregular senses.


The 16 day exhibit proves that there is still a longing for the visuals that cannot be satiated by CGI in the movies, or by tabloid rags that spread negativity. No, the exhibit proves that goodold fashioned photography, no matter what the subject, is still a useful form of art that is to be celebrated, thought about, and to some people, understood.

TheMarkus + Indrani Retrospective opened January 10th and will run through January 26th.