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Dinka Cattle Camp at Sunset, South Sudan

Frank Pictures Gallery proudly presents “African Passion: Painted Bodies and Beyond” featuring the work of internationally renowned photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher. These photographs are a selection from their Annenberg Space for Photography exhibit “No Strangers: Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World”. Beckwith and Fisher have done more than anyone to awaken the world’s appreciation of everything African from adornment to the rapidly vanishing ceremonies. The exhibition spans their three-decade relationship with the African continent across 270,000 miles and through remote corners of 40 countries in exploration of more than 150 African cultures. The Beckwith-Fisher images are the result of a long, enduring and deeply respectful relationship with African tribal people. This, combined with their photographic skills, creates an intimate portrayal of ceremonies long held secret that might have never been recorded. Their extraordinary photographs are recorded in fourteen best-selling books. Their new book “Painted Bodies” (2012) follows “Maasai” (1980), “Nomads of Niger” (1983), “Africa Adorned” (1984), “African Ark” (1990), “African Ceremonies” (1999), “Passages” (2000), “Faces of Africa” (2004), “Lamu: Kenya’s Enchanted Island” (2009), and “Dinka” (2010). The special limited-edition books, hand printed in Santiago, Chile, are titled “Surma,” “Karo,” “Maasai,” and “Dinka.”

Angela and Carol are also winners of the Royal Geographical Society of London’s Cherry Kearton Medal for their contribution to the photographic recording of African ethnography and ritual. The photographers have made four films about traditional Africa, including Way of the Wodaabe (1986), The Painter and the Fighter, and two programs for the Millennium Series Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World. Numerous exhibitions of their photography and films have been shown in museums and galleries around the world. In 2000 their Passages exhibition opened at the Brooklyn Museum of Art featuring 97 mural photographs, six video films and a selection of African masks, sculpture and jewelry. This exhibition has traveled to seven museums on three continents.


Susan Burnstine | Who Looks Outside, Dreams; Who Looks Inside, Awakes


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Frank Pictures Gallery is delighted to present Photographer Susan Burnstine: Who Looks Outside, Dreams; Who Looks Inside,  Awakes. Burnstine uses special homemade cameras, with lenses she custom created and other makeshift parts, to distort her photos at the point of conception. Her images almost seem like mirages. Edges are blurred or out of focus, and the photos’ central subjects — whether buildings, vistas, corridors or people — are also bathed in translucence. There are parallels to 19th century, when Nicéphore Niépce and Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre produced images that — because of long exposure times and a fragile technical process — were practically ethereal.  Burnstine is one of the few photographers today avidly pursuing alternative processes to create an idiosyncratic and deeply personal visual landscape. In order to be able to portray her visions entirely in-camera (rather than with post-processing manipulations), she created her own hand-made film cameras and lenses that are frequently unpredictable and technically challenging. These limitations allowed her to rely on instinct and intuition, both tools of which are used in dream interpretation as well to create her singular synthesis of magic and reality.

Susan Burnstine is an award winning fine art and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles. Susan is represented in galleries across the country, widely published throughout the world and has also written for several photography magazines, including a monthly column for Black & White Photography (UK).  In the last six years, Burnstine has won a slew of awards, her latest a coveted one for photographers: a gold medal in the 2011 Prix de la Photographie Paris competition.

Elisabeth Sunday | Anima Animus


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Elisabeth Sunday
Anima Animus
March 13 – 31, 2013

Elisabeth Sunday has been photographing indigenous people across the African continent for the last 26 years. Using a flexible mirror she created for the purpose (and hand carries unaccompanied to some of the most remote and dangerous spots on earth), Sunday has created her own analog process that prefigured Photoshop that she calls “Mirror Photography”. Her method of photographing her subjects emphasizes and enhances their grace, elongating the body and the folds of their garments, creating an impressionistic effect one might be used to seeing in painting but which is unexpected in a medium from which we often expect a more literal representation. The effect is closer to that of dance, in which the body has reshaped itself and learned to move in a way that proclaims and exaggerates all its best qualities, while momentarily silencing its flaws, and in which movement itself has an aesthetic, rather than merely practical, purpose. Typically Sunday captures an elongated vertical reflection, rushing and bleeding like a single expressive brush stroke. Although Sunday herself is never visible in the frame, she is as much actor as she is director within the drama of these photographs, as she strives to represent not so much the personal characteristics of her subjects, but an essential gesture that connects a given incarnation with the long history of the soul. In her Anima and Animus series, Sunday mediates on eternal masculine and feminine energies, using warlike Koro men and nomadic Tuareg women as subjects. The Anima women are hidden under flowing garments, slanting to left or right or reaching upward like dark flames against the steady white curve of a dune. The Animus figures rise like tough young trees or spears, rooted somewhere beneath the picture plane. Grace and violence here seem cast together in a solid block, As with so many of Elisabeth Sunday’s figures, these seem composed of stone or bone more than living flesh. Elisabeth Sunday has shown in galleries and Museums the world over including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Centre cultural Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris, France, the African American Museum, Los Angeles; International Photography Biennial, Brecsia, Italy, UC Berkeley Art Museum; Salle d’ Exposition, Arles, France, Le Maison de la Photographie, Aosta, Italy, Exploratorium Museum, San Francisco, CA Smithsonian Anakostia Museum, Center for African American History and Culture, Washington D.C. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her work is included in major collections: The Corcoran Art Gallery, The University Art Museum at Berkeley, The Cantor Art Center at Stanford University, The Los Angeles Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Art-Houston, Le Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, France, The San Francisco Museum of Art, and The Eastman Kodak Collection. Her private collectors include Graham Nash, Quincy Jones, Gloria Steinem, Linda Grey, Bill Cosby, Bonnie Raitt and Alice Walker.

Discovering Cyrus Kabiru


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Ed Cross left Kenya in 2009 after spending twenty one years of his life there. He had gone there for romantic reasons and to practice as an artist and live on the shores of the Indian Ocean in a palm thatched Swahili house – the latter he managed for ten good years.

1980’s Kenya was President Arap Moi’s Kenya – a sort of inefficient totalitarian state which bordered on the comic unless you were on the receiving end of it. Where African intellectuals and artists  were deemed suspect by the authorities, many were in exile. The others only known about by a small group of African art experts. Gallery Watatu was the art colussus in Nairobi but by the time he arrived its charismatic director, Ruth Schaffner,  was close to the end of her life.

Jak Katarikawe was the artist that turned his head. He was in Lilian Towers a plush modern hotel complex in downtown Nairobi  allegedly named after Moi’s mistress for reasons he cant remember. Unlike Mombasa with its sense of soul and historic charm there was little  in Nairobi that  stirred him deeply until he wandered downstairs in an “exhibition area” and saw extraordinary works by a man he’d never heard of on the wall – Jak Katarikawe.  There must have been about twenty black and white woodcuts – and one in particular caught his eye,  and he remembered the title clearly “Escape by night – Bride price later”, it was a couple in a canoe paddling off at night.

Apart from Katarikawe most of his  visual stimulation in those days came from art that had nothing to do with galleries made by people who wouldn’t have called themselves artists. Carvers of dugout canoes, a man in Mombasa who made impossibly realistic and suggestive gyrating dolls out of inner tubes, coat hangers  and .. actually no one ever knew how he made them. Fabrics, shop signs, driftwood, Baobab trees,the multiplicity of different bone structures in faces from different ethnic groups,   the vivid beauty of a still pristine Indian Ocean.

Years later after working for eight years as an artist himself and then as an art dealer he thought he knew the Kenyan art scene pretty well but missed a young artist called Cyrus Kabiru.

If Kabiru had been a young man in the 90s he might have ended up an anonymous  artisan  like the unnamed genius who produced the gyrating dolls. Other than being taken up by Jean Pigozzi (as Richard Onyango was) or being the darling of Ruth Schaffner as was Jak and a small group of lucky artists, there was limited scope for people with creative brilliance. The internet changed all that.


Cyrus Kabiru | C-Stunner : Revolution | Mixed media sculpture | 2009

Fast forward to 2013 and Kabiru (aged 28 yrs)  yesterday accepted a TED Fellowship at TED’s Long Beach conference in front of thousands of applauding delegates. On March 1st – 9th Ed will be curating a show for him at Frank Pictures  Gallery in Santa Monica  He “discovered” Kabiru (in the Christopher Columbus sense), on Facebook.  Cyrus had posted a photograph of himself wearing one of his C-Stunners eyewear sculptures –  it was Revolution – which  uses  spent bullets in its construction.  As soon as he saw the image and quickly looked at other works on his Tumblr etc Ed thought here is someone who has got what it takes – the work radiated a confident perfectionism and obsessive quality that great  artists generally have – unless you are a purely conceptual artist in the end there is some artifact produced and it’s that attention to detail that makes it great. The work was literally and metaphorically visionary. It spoke of the aspirations of a generation looking beyond the cliches about Africa – it was art that transcended borders in more ways than one.

It was only later that Ed learned that the roots of Kabiru’s  obsession with making “glasses” came from a specific family fable:


Cyrus Kabiru | C-Stunner : Gallata Mask| 13 x 33 x 21cm | Mixed media sculpture | 2012

Kabiru has been creating his ‘spectacles’ since childhood. First as toys for himself and later for his class-mates as a way of bartering his way through school work. His passion for ‘glasses’ stems from his father’s phobia about them. As a child, the artist’s grandparents punished his father severely for losing a pair of glasses that they had made huge sacrifices to provide him with.  When the young Kabiru began playing with his father’s glasses, he was told by his father “if you want to survive in my house you will make your own glasses”.  Taking him at his word, the young boy embarked on what would become his lifetime mission to create eyewear out of “trash”.

His father, bemused by the explosion of toy glasses became an unwitting curator, decreeing that his son should “only make the glasses when there is a reason” by recreating again and again the object of his father’s pain, and his grandparent’s hope, Kabiru began to create a body of work that would have symbolic significance well beyond his own family story, ultimately becoming a metaphor for the power of creative transformation both within Africa and worldwide.

Kabiru has been featured in group shows throughout Europe and the Middle East including Istanbul Design Biennale, Istanbul, Perimeter Art & Design, Paris, Rosetta Arts, London, Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion, London, and upcoming shows in Dubai and Paris.

His C-STUNNERS were recently worn by Bobby Womack on the cover of Clash Magazine’s December 2012 issue and he has been profiled by the New York Times (September 2012), The International Herald Tribune (September 2012), and Under the Influence Magazine’s Africa Issue (November 2012).

For more information about Kabiru’s work, you can watch the following video links below:

Ed Cross Fine Art –

MTV Base –

Manufactured –


If you are in Los Angeles come along to see Kabiru’s biggest yet exhibition of his C-Stunner works and his first show in the U.S.A. at Frank Pictures March 1-9, 2013 11.30am – 6.30pm

Artist Reception: Saturday, March 2nd 5.30pm – 8.30pm

Frank Pictures Gallery
Bergamot Station, A-5
2525 Michigan Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

310.828.0211 tel

The C-Stunner Los Angeles tour is sponsored by Stunner of the Month, a monthly sunglass subscription service that is changing the way you see, and the way others see you. StunMo founders discovered and acquired some of Kabiru’s work more than a year ago. As avid supporters of bringing his creations to more people, they offered to put on a series of events while he is in Los Angeles to help one stunner from another. Stunner of the Month: It’s not just a brand, it’s a lifestyle. Start stunnin’ today, go to


London based Ed Cross Fine Art  specialises in contemporary visual art from the African continent and its Diaspora.


Bergamot Station Holiday Open House with Saarinen, Lefkowitz and Cheng.


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Bergamot Station Holiday Open House with Saarinen, Lefkowitz and Cheng.

Bergamot Station Holiday Open House with Saarinen, Lefkowitz and Cheng.

Ching Ching Cheng: Obsess at Frank Pictures Gallery


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SX-70, found books & glue, 7” x 4” x 6”, 2012

SX-70, found books & glue, 7” x 4” x 6”, 2012

Ching Ching Cheng was born in Taiwan and educated at the Art Center College of Design. Although the sculpture she creates by hand are facsimiles of actual objects (cameras) created from other tangible objects (books) they really exist as conceptual works speaking to issues of memory and personal history. “My work gives an intimate and personal account of my own experiences, while simultaneously encouraging the viewer to recall their own. I present subject matter outside the self from this psychological position. Ultimately, there is no definitive subject, but only a meditation on personal experience and emotion”, says Ching. “Polaroid is composed completely of old book pages I collected from various flea markets, garage sales, pawnshops and swap meets throughout Los Angeles. I individually sealed each page with an adhesive, reading or skimming each page as I went along. The form of the Polaroid pays homage to my own Polaroid, which I was able to fix, yet still unable to access the memories created and lives touched by the machine, much like the pages of found books.” This year Ching has participated in two museum shows “Random Acts Of Time” at OCCCA, Orange County and the Craft And Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles as well as solo exhibitions at DAC Gallery, Olive DeLuce Gallery at Northwest Missouri State University, and artist-in-residency at 943 Studio in Kunming, China. She lives and works in Altadena, California.

Gillian Lefkowitz show Portrayals opens at Frank Pictures Gallery


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the goddess

Gillian Lefkowitz, The Goddess, oil on canvas, 54″ x 54″, 2012

Gillian Lefkowitz: Portrayals

Artist Reception: Saturday, December 8th, 5:00-8:00 PM

Exhibit on view December 8 – January 15, 2012

Gillian Lefkowitz grew up in the Venice California home of artist parents Patricia Knop and Zalman King. Being surrounded by the wild and eclectic environment they created was the perfect breeding ground to give birth to her own passion for visual arts and interior design. She attended Crossroads High School and San Francisco Art Institute where she studied painting. While there, she became enamored by photography, which segued into an unexpected career in that field. She was blessed to travel the world at an early age as a professional photographer for film and print. Gillian’s work in photography then laid the groundwork for a return to painting and her first solo show at Miauhaus Gallery, which was a rare sold-out success. The complexity of human nature is primary to Gillian as she aspires to capture her subject’s rich and layered essence in her paintings and drawings. In her words: “In my portraits, I love to tell stories through my subject’s eyes and expressions. I love to combine whimsy, humor and sadness together with unexpected color choices. Color has always played a huge part in my work. In this particular series, ‘Social Archetypes’, I chose primary fun colors in contrast to the more complex emotional inner-landscape of my subjects. It’s about the roles we take on in our society and how we play out those roles. It’s about that double edge sword that lives in us all, the light and the dark, the yin/yang of human nature. Just as my work appears simple at first glance, my painted friends are way more complicated than meets the eye.” Recently, Gillian’s eye for color and form has translated beautifully into her work in interior design where she has done multiple projects for a client list in the entertainment and arts community. She lives and works in Los Angeles with her amazing son Max who is a constant inspiration.


Eliot Eames Saarinen’s show Rubber Tree opens tonight at Frank Pictures Gallery


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Golden Gate, tea bags, ink, panel, 49" x 49", 2012

Golden Gate, tea bags, ink, panel, 49″ x 49″, 2012

Eliot Eames Saarinen: Rubber Tree
Artist Reception: Saturday, December 8th, 5:00-8:00 PM

Exhibit on view now through January 15th, 2012

RSVP to Laurie Frank: 310.828.0211

Saarinen’s work explores human rituals and habits as told through his manipulation of the familiar, elevating everyday objects into cultic ones in order to integrate them into his own ritualistic games in space. Eliot’s aesthetic was shaped by his family lineage that includes internationally renowned architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen their disciples Charles and Ray Eames, and as seen from the top of a skateboard. “When you skateboard, you see the world in a different way: You notice where the city is smooth. You notice potholes and rails and ramps. And you see, very intimately, how your interaction changes your little piece of the environment, says Saarinen. “When you skate a ledge every day, the ledge changes. It feels different and, scuff by scuff, looks different.” In Rubber Tree, Eliot shares that worldview through his paintings — at once scuffed-up and beautiful, perfectly symmetrical and in total disarray. Fueled by an unyielding curiosity, Saarinen creates panels made of crème brulee, steeped teabags, cotton swabs and reimagines them into scintillating grids. “By using conventional items in unconventional ways I change the process inherently connected to each – caramelizing sugar, steeping teabags – to translate these into new forms. I take this one step further by adding something very unnatural which holds the forms together — epoxy resin — to create a balance with the organic/natural materials. Adding a new unnatural element to a simple, original idea/material, changes its inherent purpose and meaning. Rubber Tree is Saarinen’s second exhibition at Frank Pictures, his first show occurred while he was still a teenager. Currently working towards his degree in Fine Art, Rubber Tree is Saarinen’s third solo show. An exhibition of his Grandfather, design giant, Eero Saarinen, the architect of JFK’s TWA terminal, Dulles International Airport in D.C. and the iconic Saarinen chair for Knoll International, is concurrent at the A+D Museum of Architecture and Design in Los Angeles.


Frank Pictures and Stanley Silver celebrate Michael Phelps winning his 17th gold medal!


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Going For Glory Oil On Canvas 48” X 60” 2008

Frank Pictures Gallery and artist Stanley Silver congratulate and celebrate Michael Phelps wining his 17th Olympic gold medal, making him the most decorated Olympian in history with a total of 20 medals!!!

Landscapes and Glitter at Frank Pictures Gallery


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The vertical landscapes of David Florimbi appear as somewhat abstract from afar, but when you get closer a world of detail wraps around your skull.  The twisting ravines of aquesducts and manicured rows of cropland begin to come into focus, where once blue and white sky had shrunk them down; and that’s when it hit me that he was showing the vastness of the Earth and all the great spans of magic placed here for us to enjoy.

In the South wing of the gallery was something completely different, the glitterati paintings of Camomile Hixon.  Her flowers and cameras sparkle against their white backdrops.

by Daniel Rolnik on June 24, 2012 for ARGOT & OCHRE
original post HERE