Two times per week, a visit to William Giles’ photography show Transformations at the Monterey Museum of Art is extra special.

On Monday and Thursday afternoons, the artist himself, now 87 and living in Marina, accompanies visitors, answering questions and sharing anecdotes from his long artistic journey.

That’s the case on Thursday, Aug. 5, when a group of 10 photographers from San Diego arrive to meet with Giles and get a copy of his book (a collection of photographs titled Mother of Pearls) signed before they venture out “to photograph down [the] coast,” says the loudest and the most excited member of the group.

Giles continues moving slowly from room to room alongside Ken Parker, his longtime assistant (and a fine art photographer in his own right).

“And here we have the five-year-long New York period,” Parker says. “Here we can see his resilience. No landscape. No darkroom. No

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A number of eschatological beliefs predicted the world would end on December 21, 2012 — the last day of the 5,125-year Mayan calendar. In preparation for the apocalypse, survivalists turned to YouTube to learn how to best live off-grid, while conspiracy theorists flocked to the French village of Bugarach to access a mountain thought to be the landing site of a UFO that would rescue them from disaster. In Taipei, art student Pin Chun Kuo was far more accepting of her fate, and settled on photography as the medium for her salvation. 

“People kept telling me that artists are never recognized until after they’re dead,” she says. So on January 1, 2012, Pin — an installation artist whose work explores the relationship between pop culture, contemporary society and modern technology — picked up a polaroid camera and took her first self-portrait. It was an ominous shot, lit by

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