Having established itself as one of the most significant art fairs for collectors, dealers and artists involved in the photographic community, it seemed only natural that Paris Photo would try to extend its influence to a new stateside audience. The fair moved from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, taking up residence in LA's iconic Paramount Pictures Studios for its first edition, which was held last week from 26-28 April 2013.
Unlike most art fairs, which take place in large, cavernous convention centers with artificial lighting, the standout feature of this fair was the location, where 72 international galleries and book publishers had displays throughout the heart of Paramount Pictures' legendary NYC backlot. Instead of winding through endless rows and corridors of gallery displays, visitors could roam the streets of New York under the sunny skies of Los Angeles, walking into shops and galleries, or grabbing food from street vendors. Bookstores appeared behind quaint facades and brownstone stoops led visitors into transformed exhibition spaces. What better way to enjoy images than under the influence of Hollywood movie magic?
While the location may have stolen the show, there were a few standouts among the exhibitors. London's Paradise Row gallery displayed a solo exhibiton by South African duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. Broomberg & Chanarin aren't classic photographers, preferring instead to produce work that is conceptually- and politically-charged by using mostly found imagery. The two are currently nominated for the prestigious Deutsche Borse Photography Prize for their publication War Primer 2, which can also be downloaded as an e-book. Also watch for their reissue of The Bible, which will be published later this year by MACK.
Another standout was M+B Gallery's solo show of new work by Matthew Brandt. The show featured only a few of Brandt's widely popular "lake photos", which were paired with a series of works of the starry night sky produced by applying cocaine to black photographer's velvet. The milky, sparkling constellations of stars were a nice complement to the swirling, abstracted colors of his large scale lake pictures.
Other work that caught our eye were several groupings of small vintage prints. Galerie Perrotin and Galerie 1900-2000 of Paris collaborated to show a beautiful series of vintage Man Ray photographs that had never previously been exhibited. And Andreé Magnin gallery, also of Paris, showed vintage prints from African photographers J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, Malick Sidibe and Seydou Keita.
Have a look at the Paris Photo LA website for more information about all of the galleries present this year, and for information about next year's show.
Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin images courtesy of the artists and Paradise Row. Matthew Brandt images courtesy of M+B Gallery, Los Angeles. All others by Jonah Samson