The Power and Universality of the Smile is Celebrated in Over 80 Photographs in Downtown Los Angeles

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Arts Brookfield presents Smile!, a photography exhibition featuring photographs by photojournalists from acclaimed VII Photo Agency

Portrait of Tinka. Photo credit: Jocelyn Bain Hogg

“As individual photojournalists, we often frown upon the smiles in our photographs,” said photojournalist and member of VII Ed Kashi. “And yet, shown together as a group, these smile photographs reveal the astonishing range of human behavior.”

Smile! A Photo Anthology by VII, a free photography exhibition presented by Arts Brookfield. The exhibition will debut May 6 at the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Los Angeles and will continue through July 17. The smile, one of life’s most basic and primary expressions, will be the centerpiece of the exhibition, which features more than 80 photographs of smiles from around the world, in situations ranging from moments of elation to moments of relief.

Commissioned by Arts Brookfield, Smile! A Photo Anthology by VII showcases the work of VII Photo Agency, a cooperative made up of 20 of the world's leading photojournalists. Exploring the complexities of a seemingly simple emotion, Smile! takes visitors on a visual global journey—from a joyous celebration marking the end of hostilities in Kosovo to fans rocking out at a Justin Bieber concert in Switzerland. The images in this collection were selected by Ed Kashi and Ron Haviv, members of VII, culled from work produced over a 30-year span.

"The photos in this exhibition reveal the universal nature of a smile,” said Debra Simon, vice president and artistic director of Arts Brookfield. "Arts Brookfield is extremely proud to work with the VII Photo Agency again on a project that is sure to resonate on a personal level with all visitors in Los Angeles.”

“As individual photojournalists, we often frown upon the smiles in our photographs,” said photojournalist and member of VII Ed Kashi. “And yet, shown together as a group, these smile photographs reveal the astonishing range of human behavior.”

Guests at Smile! are encouraged not only to explore the universality of a smile, but to share one of their own. Visitors and remote Arts Brookfield fans are asked to answer the prompt, “Why do you smile?” and submit a personal smile photo via Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #sharemysmile, #VIIPhoto and handles @artsbrookfield, @VIIPhoto.

The exhibition is free and open to the public daily from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. To learn more about Smile! A Photo Anthology by VII and other Arts Brookfield events, visit

About VII
VII was created in 2001, and by 2005, was listed third in American Photo’s “100 Most Important People in Photography.” VII now represents 20 of the world’s preeminent photojournalists whose careers span 35 years of world history. Renowned for the quality of its photography, the group’s collective archive of more than100,000 images is an iconic summary of the defining landmarks of the late 20th century, and it continues to grow as the new millennium develops.

The photographers represented in this exhibition are:

Lynsey Addario
Marcus Bleasdale
The Estate of Alexandra Boulat Stefano De Luigi
Jessica Dimmock
Ashley Gilbertson
Ron Haviv
Jocelyn Bain Hogg
Ed Kashi
Gary Knight
Antonin Kratochvil
Joachim Ladefoged
Davide Monteleone
Christopher Morris
Franco Pagetti
Stephanie Sinclair
John Stanmeyer
Anastasia Taylor-Lind
Tomas van Houtryve
Donald Weber
Sim Chi Yin

About the Curators

Ed Kashi
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times. A sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. As a member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition.

Ron Haviv
Award-winning photojournalist Ron Haviv has produced images of some of the most important conflict and humanitarian crises that have made headlines around the world. Numerous museums and galleries have featured his work, including The Louvre, United Nations, and The Council on Foreign Relations. Co-founder of the photo agency VII, his work is published by magazines worldwide

About Arts Brookfield
Arts Brookfield invigorates public spaces through the presentation of free cultural experiences in Brookfield’s premier buildings around the world, located in the vibrant downtowns of New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver in the U.S., Toronto in Canada, and Sydney, Perth and Melbourne in Australia. By commissioning, producing, and presenting world-class works of art, Arts Brookfield supports creativity and innovation in the fields of music, dance, theater, film, and visual art. Visit for a complete schedule of events.

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Handles: @artsbrookfield, @VIIPhoto
Hashtag: #ShareMySmile #VIIPhoto

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Khristara Hall
wRightOne Communications
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