The current exhibit at 99Collective Gallery on Abbot Kinney is “Portraits of Elder Psychedelic Pioneers” by local photographer Dean Chamberlain and it is a must see. Chamberlain’s use of light painting during long exposures creates otherworldly and psychedelic images “in camera” that are free of computer manipulation. Using extremely long exposures in sessions that often extend to four or five hours, he moves through the composition space illuminating each individual element, not so much photographing a moment but painting with light through time and space. Chamberlain’s “Portraits of Elder Psychedelic Pioneers” is wonderfully executed and as many of those in the portraits have sadly passed on this series is now timeless for the ages.
As Dean is a Venice Resident we asked him for a few words about the show and Venice and here is what he had to say:
I’ve lived in several areas of Los Angeles since I moved here in 1992, but it is in Venice, where I have lived these last eight years, that I have experienced a concentrated spirit of exploration, optimism, and intelligence reflected in this unique neighborhood. This is one reason that I am pleased to exhibit my “Portraits of Elder Psychedelic Pioneers” here.
The making of these portraits is a project that is close to my heart. I worked with great enthusiasm on this series, beginning when I met Tim Leary during his heart- and mind-expanding time of dying in 1996. I’d been reading and learning from Tim’s books and public appearances since 1969. Not knowing he had what he called “lady cancer,” I arrived at his home high up in the hills of Beverly 90210 during one of his regular, spirited Sunday afternoon gatherings with the intention of showing him my portfolio of photographs and hoping he would agree to let me make his portrait. Fortunately, he loved my light paintings, and – thanks to the great people who lived with, assisted, and collaborated with Tim in all manner of ways facilitating my entrée to the Tim family – over the next two weeks I worked with Tim to create the portrait you see.
At Tim’s home, I met Ram Dass, Laura Huxley, Oscar Janiger, John Lilly, Nina Graboi, who in turn introduced me to Albert Hofmann, Richard Evans Schultes, Terrence McKenna, Ann and Sasha Shulgin, and Ralph Metzner (portrait not in show). Talk about “Illuminati” of our time of consciousness expansion – these were and still are the finest minds and hearts I ever hoped to meet.
I spent the next five years illuminating and being illuminated by these brave frontier explorers of consciousness. Each of them practiced one of Tim Leary’s key directives of consciousness exploration – if you take the trip inside yourself, you have a responsibility to come back with something meaningful from your experience to report in on.
Dean Chamberlain Exhibition at
99 High Art Collective
1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
Ph: (310) 450-8699