William Abranowicz turns his lens on voting rights

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William Abranowicz with his photograph of Harry Belafonte. Photo by Avishay Artsy/KCRW

The midterms are a couple of weeks away. But will people show up to vote?

LA art galleries and museums have stepped up to encourage people.

Track 16 gallery in Downtown LA had a stack of voter registration forms at the opening of a Robbie Conal show. MOCA Geffen in Little Tokyo has been registering people to vote. So too has the Hammer Museum in Westwood -- and it’s going to serve as a polling station on November 6. The Maccarone Gallery in Boyle Heights has a show of anti-Trump cartoons by actor Jim Carrey. His message to visitors: get out and vote.

Then there is Matt Blacke Gallery on Melrose at La Brea, owned by interior designer Cliff Fong.

He and veteran interiors photographer William Abranowicz have teamed up to take on voting rights -- with a show called “This Far and No Further.”


The Malden Brothers Barber Shop in the Ben Moore Hotel in Montgomery, Alabama, was where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other black leaders had their hair cut while organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 and 1956. Photo credit: William Abranowicz.

Abranowicz, known for sumptuous rooms and exotic locales for magazines including Architectural Digest and Conde Nast Traveler, tells DnA why he took on the topic and how he's applied his trademark interior photography style to historic civil rights locations in the South, such as the road where Emmett Till was murdered or the bedroom dresser from the home of Myrlie and Medgar Evers.

“These are generally genteel, bucolic places,” he says of the softly lit country road where Till met his death, adding “where horrendous, horrendous things happened.”


William Abranowicz at Matt Blacke gallery. Photo by Frances Anderton.

Fong tells DnA why he felt he had to give over his Matt Blacke gallery to this topic.

“I think everybody is looking at themselves to see what they could have done to change things or what they have already done or not done that contributed to the current situation,” Fong said. “And I'm sure it's on everybody's mind how to not repeat the same mistakes that brought us to our current condition.”

William Abranowicz’s This Far and No Further: A Photographic History of Voting Rights will be on view at Matte Black Gallery from October 18 to November 29, 2018. 

7021 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Hours: M-F 11am - 5pm, Sat by appointment only (contact  310.936.9680)
Credits

Guests:
William Abranowicz - photographer - @wabranowicz, Cliff Fong - interior designer and founder of design studio Matt Blacke Inc. - @Mattblackein

Host:
Frances Anderton

Producers:
Frances Anderton, Avishay Artsy