Saturday, 28 November 2009

Strains, sprains & Paris Photo Predictions Part 1

Well, well, well, how silly was I to predict how sore my feet would be. Little did I know when leaving the fabulous Vee Speersapartment late Wednesday night after a wonderful evening of photography conversation and fabulous food (her husbands method of boosting the bar-b-que with a hairdryer was a classic moment) I trotted down the polished wooden spiral staircase and slipped! Yes yours truly badly sprained her ankle, pulled all the tendons and bruised the bone. So the rest of Paris Photo was spent with a considerable limp.

That aside, the Vernisage was good that day. The collectors were out in force, anxious to see new work. First you spot all the familiar work then secondly that which is new or less familiar. The great thing about the fair is the atmosphere of expectancy, finding the photographer you know little or nothing about. The photographer that caught my eye this time was Jorma Puranenwhose work I made assumptions about when I first saw it, but revealed much more when I enquired further. Landscapes that looked like they were taken through sheets of ice, was in fact the reflections of the landscape upon a wooden board that had been painted with gloss black paint and held in the sunlight. The project was fascinating though and I'm sure that I will watch his progress in the future.

Then there were the events in the evenings. Magnum have a new space in Paris and the crowds turned up in force. I then went on to the Prix Prictet vernisage and had a brief chat with the prize winner Nadav Kander, who was lovely as ever. I got the chance to catch up with the lovely Kerstin from Arbetets Museum in Sweden. A fabulous display of handbags caught our eye on the way back and Robert Phillips image sums up the colourful, wonderful flavour of the evening.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Paris Photo's coming...

As Paris Photo looms around the corner, it is time for me to take a deep breath...

Thousands of photo fans, collectors & the just-plain-curious will descend on the fair, all desperate to see the offerings displayed by galleries from all over the world. I will be one of them, keen to be impressed & hoping to discover something new.

It will be a week of private views, cocktails, meeting old friends and new ones too. There will be the familiar & unfamiliar when it comes to the work on display. Days are long & my feet will ache, but nothing quite compares to it. If you are reading this blog & have an interest in photography I implore you to visit Paris Photo just once & you too will be hooked. It's a great place to see a ton of work all in one place. The place: The Carousel under the Louvre, what a location. Just around the corner is Collette, a fabulous shop and - even if you don't spend a euro - well worth a visit just for the pure decadence & style. The work: from galleries you have heard of & many you won't have ever had the opportunity to go to.

Spotting those emerging unknowns, the gems amidst the giants, is what it's all about for me. I also love to see the work 'in the flesh' as there is nothing like a print in real....well...print and bask in the subtleties that can never truly be reproduced. A photograph is an object after all, not simply an image on a 2D surface.

Then there are the books, ooh very dangerous. The limited editions that never make it to our shores. These are very tempting & I'm always keen to see what I've missed.

The weather will no doubt be dreadful, but the fair will be hot. So remember if you do go, layer up like a lasagne!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Natural instincts

As an avid photo collector I often wonder if my obsessive seeking of interesting images is a healthly one. It is a truly rewarding thing to do and my need to collect was confirmed by one of my heroes recently in a podcast I subscribe to. During David Attenborough's Life Stories on Radio 4, he spoke eloquently about the need humans have to accumulate. He compared this to the natural world and - lo and behold - animals do it too! He reveals that collecting is on the decrease in children. I encourage you to encourage them. Pass on and share the joy that comes from collecting, sharing and enthusing about photography. Keep our natural instincts intact, get collecting!