Art of any medium holds the capacity to connect the dots of an idea, or translate and re-translate perceptions, opening visual doors for a wider audience. In the new book California Love: A Visual Mixtape, 110 California-based photographers reveals a shared appreciation and alignment for all that makes our West Coast state a place of vibrant storytelling.
The images are as varied stylistically as the state is geographically. The photographers featured mirror the projects original intention—to reflect artists of a particular time and place in the canon of California photography. Looking outward at the land, sky and people that distinguish California, each photographer finds moments to pause, and in doing so, to celebrate. Interspersed throughout the book are ruminations about the Golden State from some of America’s great thinkers and appreciators.
“I realize much of California’s romance is passing away, and I intend to see to it that I at least shall preserve as much of that romance as is possible for me,” Jack London said to a Sacramento reporter in 1910, and also included in the book.
This collection of images reminds the viewer of a vibrancy and heart that remains steadfast despite trying and turbulent time. There is evocative beauty in the blue skies and waters of the Pacific that lap up against our coast. There are both urban and rural stories revealed in the faces of the people who have anchored themselves to the state for generations, or may just be passing through.
This appreciation for California emanates from curator Michael Rababy, who conceived the book and partnered with Los Angeles Center for Photography for its creation. As a first generation American, that melting pot connection stemmed from even before Rababy was born, when his Lebanese-born father moved to the United States. “My father’s dream was to come to America,” Rababy says. And as a curator, Rababy was able to transfer some of his dreams for this country into what these images reflect: a unified appreciation for time and place and each other.
California Love: A Visual Mixtape, curated by Michael Rababy, is published by Cali Editions, a publishing service created by the Los Angeles Center of Photography for this book.
All proceeds from sales of the book support Los Angeles Center for Photography (LACP), a photography nonprofit in Los Angeles that is one of the central community-building photography organizations in the city. From a teaching facility, to a library, to a gallery, to darkrooms and labs, LACP provides public programming as well as support and education for photography and photography enthusiasts throughout Southern California.