I was thrilled to learn that we, LA Splash Magazine, were invited to Mark Seliger's In My Stairwell: A White Space Photography Exhibit at the W Los Angeles in Westwood. For the past few weeks, LA has been a buzz with all things related to fashion and the art of photography was a surprisingly pleasant ingredient to the mix of catwalks, divas and couture. My assistant for the evening, Shanaya Scott, and I arrived to the tucked away hotel in the heart of Westwood not knowing what treats we were going to be in for.
The W hotel and its Ninethirty restaurant is the perfect venue to play host to photographs of creative legends and luminaries including Chris Martin of Coldplay, David Bowie, Jerry Seinfeld, Susan Sarandon, Adrien Brody, Alicia Keyes, Bruce Springstein, Diana Krall + Elvis Costello, Julia Roberts, Muhammad Ali + Michael J. Fox and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The hotel's decor - flooded with rich tones of chocolate, deep reds and iridescent gold - makes a remarkable canvas for the large black and white photos that will be on display through June 24, 2007.
In what seemed like juxtaposition, photographers lined up near the entry of the Ninethirty restaurant to create their own bit of journalistic art for the night. Among the celebrity arrivals was the man of the hour himself, Mark Seliger. So just who is Mark Seliger really? Well, born in Amorillo, Texas, Mark made his claim to fame as an editorial photographer for magazines such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, GQ, Vogue Hommes and British ELLE to name a few. In addition to his editorial work, Seliger has published several books, including In My Stairwell (2005), photographed many celebrities and has directed countless music videos.
As Seliger made his way through the swirl of waiters dishing out cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, I couldn't help but wonder how he was feeling to see his work come to life and the number of people that came out to congratulate him. Two of these congratulators were Sony Music Promoters Michael Lieberman and Ken Lucek who know that the line between artistic expression musically and artistic expression visually go hand in hand. The two were excited to see the works on display, but just wished that there were more of it, as did I. Although the numbers of photos were few in quantity, each of the photos' bold display and sometimes-gritty nature seemed to fill up the room a thousand times over.
My favorite of the evening was of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox. The two are triumphing over the ills of Parkinson's Disease and it was an honor to see them both photographed together. Julia Roberts looked amazingly and unconventionally sexy as she posed crouched down with tousled hair and bare toned legs.
Everything about the night was pure artistic expression and is well worth the visit. If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, make your way over to the W hotel to see for yourself. Even if you aren't staying in the hotel, you can dine at the Ninethirty Restaurant were you are sure to love the savory dishes of Executive Chef Jack Yoss and Executive Sous Chef, Michael Rouff.
***A special thank you goes out to Think Public Relations for coordinating this event!