I have always wanted to visit the Paris Photo fair. This time I did not think twice, I tapped into my savings and took off. It was well worth the trip. The hub of so much talent, lovers of photography, collectors, agents and prestigious galleries - all under one roof. No sooner had I stepped into Le Grand Palais, that I was facing Sally Mann´s images from her series Still Time. In the 90´s she started shooting landscapes on wet plate collodion glass negatives, using her bellow view camera, creating landscapes with such beauty, sensitivity and unique portrayal of light. captivating and directing the viewers´eye to the spaces of light amongst the shrubs and trees. A photographer whom I have always greatly admired.
I started walking through the different isles and came across so many notorious photographs, both contemporary and classical, from Francesca Woodman´s untitled work of a chair, to Irving Penn´s - Penn´s studio´, so perfectly composed - frames within frames, with ingenious use of shapes and lines. Danny Lyon´s images from Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement - an incredible book of photojournalism. Humberto Ríos prints, causing a real stir. Market Luskacová was sitting by her prints, whilst signing her book. Horst P Horst´s Barefoot… and so the list goes on and on.
I fantasised over which prints I would buy if I had the money and the following immediately came to mind:
Chloe Sells flamboyant. Incredible print quality and colour.
Cig Harvey´´s Birdcage.
Garry Fabian Miller´s ´The Breaking Storm´. An abstract piece of work, with stunning and vivid colours. As described in the V& A museum´s webpage vam.ac.uk - Camera´less photography: Garry Favian Miller: “amazing colours which he obtains by shining light through coloured glass vessels and over cut paper, shapes to create forms that record directly on photographic paper”
Patrick Demarchelier´s Camille - beautiful use of daylight to silhouette a ballet, stretching over a bar. But alas, they were well out of my economic reach, so I decided to treat myself to some books. I bought the following:
Julie Blackmon -´Homegrown´
Hellen Van Meene - ´The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits¨
Todd HIdo - ´Intimate Distance´
I was left wishing I had also bought
Erwin Olaf Volume II
And Sian Davey´s photobook ´Looking for Alice´
Once back at the hotel room, I flicked through the pages over and over again, enjoying every minute.
I am especially drawn to Homegrown. Not only are Julie Blackmon´s images perfectly composed and staged, but there is a dark and ironic humour to them. I suppose they tap into my own childhood memories - I´ll have to explore why later . As described in Lensculture´s webpage, Homegrown: American Unease - her book ¨ explores, among other subjects, the overwhelming, often conflicting expectations and obligations of contemporary parenthood”
It was a magical day at le Grand Palais. To be repeated again next year!