Note: This article has been updated with a new opening date of July 29. The previous date was July 22.
The University Art Gallery at California State University, Dominguez Hills proudly presents “So Close Right Now,” an online exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Ian Byers-Gamber, featuring more than 100 portrait photographs created by the artist throughout the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The online exhibition will run from July 29 through October 23 on the University Art Gallery’s website, gallery.csudh.edu.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when forced to stop his work documenting the art and community of the L.A. art world, Byers-Gamber, like many, was feeling isolated and missing his colleagues. So he set about creating a photographic project that gave him the opportunity to resume his work, and while removed by social distance, be in the same space with fellow artists, have dialogue, and process the anxiety and other elements raised by the pandemic.
Taking advantage of nearly empty freeways, Byers-Gamber drove hundreds of miles over the course of six months, documenting the quarantines of more than 100 members of the L.A. art community. Subjects include artist and Machine Project founder Mark Allen; director of OxyArts, Meldia Yesayan; executive director of The Industry, Elizabeth Cline; production designer Michele Yu; librarian Dave Eng: and artist Emily Joyce. Additionally, he photographed artists such as Mark McKnight, Candice Lin, and Alison Saar.
“So Close Right Now” shares all the portraits Byers-Gamber took during the spring and summer of 2020. Sharing the work online as the Southern California art world gets back to “normal” reminds the audience of what we’ve been through and how it has impacted all of us. The exhibition is accompanied by an essay by independent curator Charlotte Cotton.
The public is invited to an online reception celebrating the exhibition on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. https://tinyurl.com/Byers-Gamber-CSUDH
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About Ian Byers-Gamber
Ian Byers-Gamber is a Los Angeles-based artist and art documentarian. In both capacities, his work often involves producing visual archives for and around arts spaces. His photographs propose alternate ways of looking at existing archives while imagining new ones altogether.
About the University Art Gallery
The CSUDH University Art Gallery serves the campus and broader community as a laboratory for contemporary art and design practices presenting exhibitions and programming. The University Art Gallery is deeply committed to building a creative and innovative art and design culture that celebrates artists and engages audiences.