Michael Garlington - Portraits from the Belly of the Whale
March 17 – May 7
Reception:  Thursday, March 17, 7-9pm

Stephen Cohen Gallery, Inc.
7358 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90036
Tel, 323.937.5525, Fax, 323.937.5523
E-mail, <>

Web site, <>
Hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-5pm
Press Contact, Jeannine Schechter
Tel, 323.933.3932
E-mail, <>

Michael Garlington, Fishmonger's Daughter, 2002, gelatin silver print.
Copyright the artist, courtesy of Stephen Cohen Gallery

Michael Garlington - Portraits from the Belly of the Whale, a new exhibition to be held at the Stephen Cohen Gallery from March 17 – May 7, will feature a gathering of the strange, unique and depraved, captured in black & white photographs, shot while touring the country in his image-plastered “Photo Car”, searching for the truth. The show will commence with an opening reception on March 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Born in Redding, California, his family moved to Petaluma shortly thereafter where the artist grew up immersed in photography, working in the family’s photo lab, Spindler Photographic (San Francisco), which he currently runs and owns.

This wholesome and artistic upbringing, combined with regular contact with the hippies, poultry farmers, metal fabricators, bleeding hearts, and wanna-be artists of the Bay Area was a David Lynch meets "Leave it to Beaver" backdrop that served as early inspiration for the young artist.  Garlington spent countless hours in the darkroom printing the works of some of San Francisco's finest photographers — and at the age of 17, he began photographing; documenting the world around him in all its splendor, monotony, degeneracy, banality and vice.

Garlington tours the country in his “Photo Car” — literally a Volkswagen covered with his photographs. He shoots portraits of whatever speaks to him - from a contortionist to a fast food worker, from the disabled to a young patriot, his work is about ordinary Americans leading ordinary lives, yet there is something awry. Inside the work is a deeply felt affection for humanity in all its permutations and expressions, in all its horror and triviality. The resulting body of work offers a critical, offbeat, and humorous view of the United States —a portrait of the “belly of the whale.”

Garlington’s work is in the collections of Yale University, Dartmouth College, Mt Holyoke College, the di Rosa Preserve in Napa County, and in the permanent collection of the Minnesota Institute of Arts where he will have a one-man show in 2007.  He has done more than 20 one-man shows.  Garlington is currently working on a series of California-Mexican working families living in trailers, struggling for a piece of a promised dream, and is planning his fourth cross-county photo expedition in 2005.

The Stephen Cohen Gallery <> is located at 7358 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles and is open Tuesday –Saturday from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

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