Archive for April 15th, 2013

Pacific Standard Time

Posted in Arts and Culture, Photography, Work Update on April 15th, 2013 by Angel Villanueva

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Over the years, my work in photography has covered many territories. There is however, an area at which I have developed something of a specialty: largely as a result of documenting my own work as a painter, I’ve become quite adept at photographing artwork, doing so for artists such as Gronk, Raul Pizarro, Kirk Kain, Ruben Acosta, Guadalupe Vidales, and Steve Comba. I was however, still surprised when I was asked by my friend and former colleague, Pilar Tompkins, to aid in the documentation of artwork for an exhibition catalog. Acting as a guest curator for the Getty Research Institute’s initiative Pacific Standard Time, her research and exhibition project would be titled Civic Virtue.

Like a tidal wave, Pacific Standard Time swept over the Los Angeles artscape, affecting everything it touched in one form or another. An unprecedented collaboration between dozens of art institutions, Pacific Standard Time set out to historicize and celebrate the artistic developement of the Los Angeles area between 1945 and 1980.

Civic Virtue by Pilar Tompkins Rivas


Civic Virtue: The Impact of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Arts Center is a formidable work, documenting the history of these two seminal institutions and their influence on the Los Angeles cultural landscape.


Civic Virtue, Cover

Images of works by Noah Purifoy, Charles White, and Richard Wyatt were needed. The pieces were to be photographed under natural light at their locations in the offices of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Hollyhock House.

Noah Purifoy, Black, Brown and Beige (1989) (pp. 98-99)

At the Hollyhock House, space was limited and light was challenging, but I managed to capture Purifoy’s large works in their complex splendor just fine.

Noah Purifoy, Lace Curtain, 1993. (p. 61)

Charles White, Juba (1965) (p. 82)

I had to be careful with the color balance on Charles White’s lithograph so as to not compromise the paper tone.

Richard Wyatt, I like Bread, 1975. (p. 125)

Richard Wyatt’s pencil on paper I Like Bread was photographed in its glass frame. The final image for print is in fact a digital composite of best exposures without reflections.

Both the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Hollyhock House sent me copies of the catalog, along with nice thank you notes. I had all but forgotten about it when the books arrived. It’s nice to see one’s name in the credits. 🙂

Many thanks to Pilar Tompkins-Rivas for the opportunity to contribute to such seminal work, and my sincerest commendation on the caliber of the work. This is top-notch art history research!

Thank you for reading. Cheers,