You’ve seen Eric Minh Swenson at art galleries and events all over the Los Angeles, the guy with the big cameras, low key vibe, and artfully shaped facial hair. His photos, aside from appearing on CARTWHEEL, can be found in Artillery Magazine and Coagula Art Journal. He also writes for Huffington Post (His article on phone app photography is so right on).
Swenson has gained unprecedented access to artists, collectors, curators, gallerists, and art world denizens from San Diego to Ventura. His photos and interviews are revealing portraits of both the Southland and the artistic impulses–shaped by the area’s geography, climate, history, and cultures–that express themselves here. His growing body of work (over 200 short film about Southern California art to date, and thousands of photos) is far ranging and in depth. The art scene in any city has yet to be documented this extensively.
The short documentaries Swenson creates are fluid and evocative, pieces of art themselves. This summer, he begins work on Mana, his ambitious feature-length documentary about group of Southern California artists, produced by Andi Campognone, curator at Lancaster’s Museum of Art and History, and artist Alex Couwenberg, whose doc is shown below.
On Monday, May 20th from 5pm to 6:30pm, West Coast time on Firedoglake.com, I’ll be interviewing the director/photographer about his work chronicling art and artists in Southern California on Firedoglake.com Movie Night (I’ve interviewed over 300 filmmakers during the past four and half years, including fifteen Oscar nominees, numerous festival winners, plus alt-culture figures like Exene Cervenka and Mike Watt).
Join us Monday at 5pm West Coast time on the front page of Firedoglake.com. To participate in the live, online discussion, you must be registered and logged in on Firedoglake.com (it’s free!). Simply click the “register” button, and follow the steps to create your account. Then on Monday log in to Firedoglake.com. If you do not see the title at first, refresh your screen. The chat will be on the front page of Firedoglake not at this URL.
To comment/question, type your comment or question into the comment box and hit “submit comment.” To reply to a specific comment, click “reply” on that comment’s box. Refresh your screen every couple of minutes in order to see new comments, questions, and replies.
Can’t wait till Monday? Here are some of his shots from LA art openings, and a couple of his short docs.
Images and videos: Courtesy Eric Minh Swenson/thuvanarts.com. Used by permission. Painting top, Bradford J. Salamon