Paris Photo 2013, a Safe Place (NSFW)

One of the feelings you have when visiting Paris Photo is certainly the unsurprising selection of exhibited photographs and photographers. Nothing new. The same old galleries, the same old photographers and sometimes the same old photographs. Do not expect to be surprised, as I wrote already last year comparing the Paris Photo with the NoFound Photo fair that NoLonger exists. Unfortunatly. However, the NoFound curator, Emeric Glayse opened a new gallery here in Paris called Düo, but I will write later about that: now let’s focus on the unsurprising Paris Photo.

As always, and in this safe context, the best gallery is Hamiltons (London), no doubt. There are few others, which are also great like Camara Obscura (Paris), Pace/McGill (New York) or Agence VU (Paris).  Apart from the great photographs, Hamiltons does something special on that crowd: they create a space, an ambience, a gallery! This is important, not only to arrive there and hang up the photographs open ceiling to get all the light interfering with the works and reflecting everything including yourself so badly that you sometimes can’t even see the work. Hamiltons doesn’t have a stand: they have a space, with ceiling, with special light, in which you can really see the photographs.

Hamiltons Gallery

Hamiltons Gallery, photo by ©Gonzalo Bénard

In all that crowd and overdose of people and photography I met Roger Ballen, who has some of his new works at Hamiltons, and with whom I talked for a while, so you may expect an interview with him soon here. Martin Parr was on the back of the fair, at the books’ section signing books, happy to be there, as if he was in one of his photographs.

Roger Ballen next to his new works at Hamiltons Gallery

Roger Ballen next to his new works at Hamiltons Gallery, photo by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Somehow I didn’t take note of the name of a Mexican Gallery there that was showing mostly anonymous old photographs now water-coloured. There are some other galleries showing hand painted photographs, like in the beginning of photography, which seems to be a new classic trend, of a re-fished trend… to keep them classic and interesting. Again: a safe show. One photographer using this technique caught my eyes: Vee Speers with her series Bulletproof filling an immense wall. Other example was a beautiful nude by Janice Guy at Yancey Richardson gallery (NY).

Mexican Gallery with hand coloured photographs

Mexican Gallery with hand coloured photographs

Bulletproof series by Vee Speers at School Gallery in Paris

Bulletproof series by Vee Speers at School Gallery in Paris

Bulletproof series by Vee Speers

Bulletproof series by Vee Speers

Janice Guy at Yancey Richardson Gallery, photo by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Janice Guy at Yancey Richardson Gallery, photo by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Had also a very nice conversation with Maria Burasovskaya, director of Glaz Gallery (Moscow); a surprising meeting with Miriam Lozano director of Espai Visor (Valencia), and also with Carlos Carvalho (Lisbon).

In the next posts I’ll write about the Masters and Classics I saw there and also about some of the photographs that caught my attention. Will also focus later on some of the photographers.

triptych "Souls" from Oneness series, by Gonzalo Bénard

triptych “Souls” from Oneness series, by Gonzalo Bénard

Essays you should read:

How to Cook Humans;
Oneness
;
Studies On Light Nudes (NSFW):
The Awakening of the Self;
An Interview With The Incredible Photographer Gonzalo Benard for MutantSpace;
Pain should never be an excuse, but a tool for you to create with;

self portrait reflected on Janice Guy at Yancey Richardson Gallery

An Art Nude (NSFW)  
The Nude: Why? (NSFW)
Straight Thoughts on Nudes and Ostriches (NSFW)
A Sacred Erotica (NSFW)
Winds With the Sea Inside (NSFW)

text and photos by ©Gonzalo Bénard for 2HeadS
November, 2013
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