How do you see the world? I look through my contact lenses (which cause me much irritation from time to time). What do you focus on? I focus on what I see and interpret it in combination with my background and thought processes. What we choose to see in our world is determined by who we are as people.

On Feb.11, I confirmed this self-proclaimed theory of how people take in the world and circulate it back out in an egotistical manner. Don’t mind the negative connotation the word “egotistical” has, because by all means I’m not mocking anybody. Egotistical is never bad for art … or at least that’s what I think.

Seven women of Los Angeles, each very different from each other, have come together in an exhibition at the Urban Sanctuary Gallery in Boyle Heights. Titled Abstract Vision Female Perspective, the theme of the photo exhibition is, duh, abstract. The gallery collects the works of these seven women in an attempt to provide them with an opportunity to express their love for photography and the freedom to escape from the boundaries of producing for profit.

Each of these women has a very different style and vision in expressing her version of the world. But it’s definitely interesting how there is a sense of unity between the individual artists’ photos. Each of the photographers shoots the things she finds intriguing or appealing to her. After all, isn’t that the reason they wanted to capture the moment?

I know I’m contradicting myself when I say that the photos vibrate with a sort of nostalgia and abstractness, yet somehow manage to have some kind of clarity to them, but you will understand this kind of convoluted description if you actually visit the exhibition. There is something so unusual, yet ordinary about the photos displayed that it is enough to make the viewer question what the photographers’ intentions were, while somehow relating to what they present. After all, being abstract is not just about being confusing, but also about being able to allow the receiver to interpret the meaning of a particular subject on his/her own. I think this is probably the reason that these seven women chose to take the photos they did. They are abstract enough, yet somehow understandable.

The physical aspect of the gallery, on the other hand, is nothing but typical, except for maybe one aspect. White walls, spacious interior with no obstructions: perfect for a photo gallery. What makes the gallery so interesting, however, is that in the far corner down a hallway the owners are trying to turn a few rooms into a spa. Yes, a spa. Let me say that one more time; a spa! Art, relaxation and music (which happens to suit my taste) – who needs more than this?

The lighting is also complementary to the photos, somehow making them more luminous and inviting. The only minor disappointment I had was that I wished there were more pieces to view than those displayed. Though photos did cover all of the walls in the gallery, somehow the gallery felt a bit empty. Other than that, I think I’m going to go visit again when the spa is ready!

Urban Sanctuary Gallery is located at 2026 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. For more information, visit