Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Paris Photo

The Grand Palais seen from the Pont Alexandre II.

Simply put - Paris Photo was amazing!

This year the long running French art fair moved from the basement of The Louvre to the Grand Palais and the event was transformative. 150 dealers from all over the world gathered in the turn of the century building whose original purpose was in fact to house the great artistic events of Paris. The main space - the length of two and a half football fields, was constructed with an iron, steel and glass barrel-vaulted roof (needed for large gatherings of people before the age of electricity).

The light, the scale, the space, and an incredible run of good weather seemed to put everyone in the best possible mood and from both my own personal experience and what I gather from colleagues, business was booming as collectors and curators from Brussels to Beijing made the rounds.

The fair also signaled Paris' increasing dominance in the world of photography. Once New York was where it all happened, and not to be self-promoting here - but other than New York's photography dealers (who still dominate the medium) - the interest, commitment, visibility, enthusiasm, discovery, and love for photography all seem greater in Paris. Correct me if you think I'm wrong.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the event and a few highlights. As a participant rather than an observer, I was busy all the time so there are fewer snaps than I would have liked. Sorry.

The sign says"Your waiting time is about an hour from this point" and people were lined up well past here!

The interior of the Grand Palais.

My booth.

My fantastic assistant Charlotte, and our helper Pascal.

Every year the fair celebrates the photography of one culture and this year it was Africa. Here the late Depara from Kinshasa, Congo - another revelatory discovery in the field of African photography.

James Barnor - who took fashion photographs in London for the African magazine, Drum.

Shomei Tomatsu from “Acqua” an exploration of the theme of water in photographs sponsored by Giorgio Armani - one of several non-selling booths at the fair.

An Andy Warhol "stitched" photograph. Warhol's inventiveness never ceases to amaze.

An extraordinarily vivid new super-sized Massimo Vitale at Brancolini Grimaldi.

The "Acqua" booth from outside.

And inside an interesting dialog between Garry Fabian Miller's seminal 1976 horizon pictures and Hiroshi Sugimoto's 1980s prints (recently printed large).

And to end - a beautiful Paolo Roversi of Natalia Vodianova.

See you next year?


Duane said...

We were there last year when it was held in the basement of the Louvre. A bit claustrophobic. But the Grand Palais! Je meurs d'envie!

Next year for sure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the report.


Joe Holmes said...

Magnificent! Say, doesn't direct sunlight come in through all that glass? Or is it frosted?

George McKay said...

What a gorgeous setting for taking in some magnificent images. Wish I'd been there. Thanks for relaying the experience.

curvesmart said...

Please, someone tell me where in the world the Vitale shot was taken. Magnifico!