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Work of Photographer Who Gets the Jump on Lakers--'Frozen Moments’ in Time

Malek Monsour loves basketball. He played with the UCLA Bruins in 1970. Now, as the L.A. Lakers’ regular photographer, he shoots pictures instead of baskets.

“One of the aspects of the game that’s hard to see is how high they jump and exactly what they do in midair,” Monsour said. “I try to capture those moments and freeze them.”

“Frozen Moments” is the title of Monsour’s one-man photography exhibit, which opens at Beverly Hills’ Galerie Michael on April 6. More than 50 color and black-and-white photographs will be on display, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy (among other Lakers) will be at a champagne reception opening night.

The photos, taken during the last nine basketball seasons, differ from journalistic sports photography in that Monsour consciously attempted to get what he calls “a pure artistic appreciation of the game,” concentrating on the balletic movements of the players rather than trying to tell a complete story with each picture.

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“People get so caught up in who’s winning and losing, and keeping score, they tend to lose what’s really going on in the game. That’s what I try to show them,” Monsour said.

The exhibit will continue through April 30.

Galerie Michael, 430 N. Rodeo Drive. (213) 273-3377. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

RISING FOR THE OCCASION: “Catch a Rising Artist” is the title of the L.A. Arts Council’s second annual art auction, to be held at 6:30 p.m. April 8 at the Marina Beach Hotel in Marina del Rey.

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Two works apiece by 30 artists will be auctioned at the gala dinner, with proceeds benefiting the Arts Council’s art scholarship program and operating funds. All works were picked by an in-house selection committee concentrating on art that is both affordable and produced by artists living in Los Angeles County.

The public can view the works free from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the hotel lobby. The works include the origami of Sherman Oaks’ Hyunsook Cho, acrylics by Santa Monica’s David Garcia and pictures by Los Angeles photographer Howard Rosenfeld. Tickets for the gala are $125.

Marina Beach Hotel, 4100 Admiralty Way. For tickets or information, contact Jacqueline Kronberg at (213) 552-3539.

DOWN UNDER ON MELROSE: The CAZ Gallery in West Hollywood is presenting “Women Painters on the Central Desert,” an exhibit featuring works by some of Australia’s leading aboriginal women artists: Banduk Marika, Alison Anderson Nampijinpa and Mary Dixon Nungurrayi.

Each artist tells tjukurrpa or “dreamtime” stories--set in a time before the creation of mankind--in her paintings. The stories have been handed down from generation to generation.

“In the Central Desert, the separation of duties between the sexes is rather well-defined,” said gallery owner Carol Lopes. “There are dreamings only the men know, dreamings only the ritual leaders know and, finally, what is appropriate for everyone else.”

Each painting has various levels of meaning, incorporating mythology, history and topography. Access to the secrets contained within the paintings is maintained by a strict caste system that has been in effect among the aborigines for thousands of years.

The exhibit continues through April 30.

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CAZ Gallery, 8715 Melrose Ave. (213) 652-6952. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.


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