Gil Mares

Gil Mares - Up Close – An Intimate Maritime Portrait

Opening Reception - Saturday, October 20, 6-8pm

Artist Talk - Sunday, November 4, 2pm


Having photographed cargo freighters for over 10 years, Gil's work exposes the visual secrets kept by these ships.  Ordinarily observed at a distance, Gil reveals their beauty through his photography by eliminating this distance.

The brightly painted hulls exhibit interesting patterns and textures which are reflected in the water. They may appear massive and strong, but the scrapes, gouges, rubber marks, and rusting wounds belie a certain frailty. The photos expose an exquisiteness of these ships in juxtaposition with their industrial purpose by illuminating the ship’s hidden journey.   The artist gets up close and personal with his subjects, which “seem as great whales with battle scars that record their life-long struggle to survive” says Gil Mares.  He uses composition, color, texture, depth, and detail to illuminate the subject, remove all other distractions and invite contemplation.

Influenced by the artists of the 20th century, particularly the expressionists of the 50's and 60's, Gil Mares describes his approach to photography as a "distilling process" that concentrates on what is in plain view and attempts to pull out the essence of the subject. He started photographing architectural structures in the American Southwest and Latin America 20 years ago and then cargo freighters in the Los Angeles Harbor and world wide.

Gil Mares’ photographs range from an intimate 11 x 15 inches to larger scale 52 x 90 inches printed on aluminum.  A selection of both large and small scale works will be on exhibition.

Mares’ work was most recently seen in the film The Company Men where nine of Gil Mares' abstract photographs were used.   His photos have graced the album covers of several musicians, are collected by corporate and private clientele and are in the permanent collection of the Port of Los Angeles.

Press Release




Show Name: 
Up Close – An Intimate Maritime Portrait
Show Dates: 
Oct 20, '12 - Apr 6, '13