A look into Art Paris 2013

Conservative and nostalgic, almost bucolic without any risks involved.

That was my thought while and after visiting Art Paris, yesterday at its opening. Modern art is safer than contemporary, and you could see it there with a large amount of modern painters and references, maybe due to the economic crisis. Art Paris is an art market, and we can’t forget that. Investment must be seen/taken as safe. This is the feeling I always end up having when visiting this fair, as opposite to AR.CO in Madrid which use to take risks and challenge viewers and art collectors. Here you cannot see contemporary art installations. It’s not a Salon des Refusés either. The artists represented are widely accepted by the “academy”: the grand jury of conservative art collectors. Nothing surprising; nothing new as I wrote at “Notes on a visit to Paris Photo and NoFound Photo fair 2012“.

It’s an Art Market show.

And this happened after being the whole day at the lab working on some of my prints to show and deliver to clients there.

Stoned Hand, by ©GBénard

Stoned Hand, 80x80cm, by ©GBénard

However, one thing I noticed that I found curious and quite interesting: the subject. While you can still find many modern paintings, in photography the subject is humanity in its entire concept and contemporary issues: politic, psychological and sociological. And the paintings that express this subject are quite photographic in their aesthetic:

It called my attention a fantastic panel of 24 oils exhibited at Duplex-10M2 (F11), by Radenko Milak that were very social-politic photographic / video stills (image bellow sent by Duplex-10M2).
These mixed aesthetic-techniques reminded me what I wrote a while ago at Unlabeled.

"What else did you see? – I couldn’t see everything!", 24 oil paintings on canvas, 40x60cm each, 2010-2012 by Radenko Milak (courtesy by duplex10m2)

“What else did you see? – I couldn’t see everything!”, 24 oil paintings on canvas, 40x60cm each, 2010-2012 by Radenko Milak

Social issues were also brought by Magnun photographer Chien Chi-Chang, at Clair Galerie (D22), who shows some of his magnificent series “Chains” (portraits of pairs of mental patients at the Long Fa Tang Temple, where a stable patient is chained together with one with more severe problems in an unorthodox kind of bonding therapy.)

from the series "Chains", by Magnun photographer Chien Chi-Chang

from the series “Chains”, by Magnun photographer Chien Chi-Chang

Now You See Me, Now You Don't, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Conceptual portraits were almost everywhere, including great self-portraits by Jorge Molder, Erwin Olaf or Vlad Mamyshev Monroe.

by Jorge Molder

self-portrait by Jorge Molder

self portraits by Erwin Olaf

self portraits by Erwin Olaf

by Vlad Mamyshev Monroe

by Vlad Mamyshev Monroe

In fact, there was an almost imposed presence of Erwin Olaf with his new series Berlin; which is curious as he was not that present in the big Photo Paris, but here in Art Paris, as saying “my work is more art than merely photography”. Great Erwin!

Sabine Pigalle was there also and beautifully represented. But we can’t forget some great photography by Russian and Middle East photographers that I loved to see. Al-Moustasim Al-Maskery was present with a magnificent series of portraits of “Wo-Men”.
At Le Journal de la Photographie you can have an idea of the great Russian photography there at Art Paris among others.

And before I forget, it was my first time seeing 2 photographers’ works in real life: Bernard Faucon and Roberto Kusterle – both surprised me. In different ways, maybe by having different expectations, due to only having seen their work on internet (small size and not printed).

from the series "Berlin", by Erwin Olaf

from the series “Berlin”, by Erwin Olaf

by Sabine Pigalle

by Sabine Pigalle

by Al-Moustasim Al-Maskery

from the series “Wo-Men”, by Al-Moustasim Al-Maskery

by Bernard Faucon

by Bernard Faucon

by Roberto Kusterle

by Roberto Kusterle

trypthic "The Tamed Man and His Horse", by ©Gonzalo Bénard

trypthic “The Tamed Man and His Horse”, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Halim Al Karim, from Irak had also an important representation with some of his portraits, as well as Carmen Calvo. A photographer that I didn’t know and I enjoyed seeing his works was Ralf Marsault, who brought some very interesting conceptual photography. Another photographer that is always a pleasure to see, now with an exhibition in Paris at the Galerie Particuliére is Anthony Goicolea.

by Halim Al Karim

by Halim Al Karim

by Carmen Calvo

by Carmen Calvo

by Ralf Marsault

by Ralf Marsault

LBLB #1 for "Moi, Le Beau et la Bête" by ©Gonzalo Bénard

LBLB #1 for “Moi, Le Beau et la Bête” by ©Gonzalo Bénard

This next one I loved, but somehow I didn’t take note of the artist’s name… so if you can identify the work, please let me know, as I also want to see more of this artist’s work.

unknown author

unknown author

"Sleeping", from the series "Septemberists", by Anthony Goicolea

“Sleeping”, from the series “Septemberists”, by Anthony Goicolea

And because art is not only photography, I can’t resist but sharing a work that I loved, by an artist that I already knew: Lucy Glendinning, brought by Da-End Gallery. In fact I would love to do some photography of her work.

by Lucy Glendinning

by Lucy Glendinning

 

For photography lovers, you must go visit exhibitions and art fairs: photography – no matter if digital or analogue – must be seen in real, internet makes it almost nonsense.  Although, some of the galleries should learn how to light the photographs… or else we see more reflexions of others’ works (and ourselves) than the photograph itself.

text by ©Gonzalo Bénard for 2HeadS
March, 2013
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