10 Remarkable Photographers to Discover at This Year’s AIPAD Fair
Here's what to seek out as AIPAD settles in at its new home on Pier 94.
The New York art world used to make one annual pilgrimage to Pier 94 on the far West Side for the annual Armory Show in March. Now it’s worth taking a second trip in 2017, however, for the AIPAD Photography Show, from the Association of International Photography Dealers, on view there for the first time after leaving the Park Avenue Armory.
It’s a sprawling show, although the fair’s roughly 115 dealers—which formerly had to squeeze into the Park Avenue space—leave the cavernous pier feeling a bit empty. Visitors can expect some of the biggest names in photography, both from 19th and early-20th century masters, as well as Modern greats and contemporary giants. But there are also plenty of new talents to discover from across the ages. Here’s a list of 10 artists to seek out at this year’s fair.
1. Sacha Goldberger at School Gallery, Paris
One of the art world’s biggest viral sensations in recent years is making its New York debut with Paris’s School Gallery: Sacha Goldberger’s delightful “Super Flemish” series, depicting popular superheroes in portraits in the style of Dutch Golden Age paintings.
“It’s real characters, not Photoshop,” the artist assured artnet News, pointing out that he employed costume makers to create the richly detailed garments, which are true to the styles of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Prices are $8,000–20,000, based on how deep a print is into each image’s edition of 10.
2. Ross Sonnenberg at Gallery 1/1, Seattle
For its AIPAD debut, Gallery 1/1 has created a traveling version of their current exhibition, “Illumination: Capturing Light Without a Camera.” Among the three artists—all of whom can be described as cameraless photographers—is Ross Sonnenberg, who channels the chaos and frustration of his chronic illness, lupus, by creating explosive images using fireworks.
The resulting photographs, inspired by Hubble Telescope photography, appear to depict otherworldly landscapes, some more singed by the process than others. They are on sale for $800–1,200.
Sonnenberg “is kind of a pyro,” the gallery’s Dan Shepard told artnet News. “Each and everyone of them is unique and unreproducible.” He was speaking of Sonnenberg’s work, but the statement could have applied to the whole booth, and indeed the gallery’s entire stock, as it only sells single-edition prints.
3. Alma Haser at De Soto Gallery, Venice, California
Imagine a world in which plastic surgery would allow you to scramble your facial features, protecting you from surveillance technology. That’s the conceit behind Alma Haser’s “Cosmic Surgery,” a sci-fi-tinged series in which the artist photographs her subjects, then folds their faces into intricate origami designs.
Those distorted images are then placed on top of the original photograph—a kind of Cubism for the modern age. “They’re quite elaborate,” gallery owner Shelley De Soto says of the folded paper forms.
Haser’s work starts at $450, for the origami alone. You can get a rephotographed version of the portrait and the origami for $700, or the full 3-D image for $1,500.
4. Niloufar Banisadr at 55Bellechasse Gallery, Paris
President Donald Trump’s travel ban convinced the fair’s only Iranian gallery to drop out, but Paris-based Iranian artist Niloufar Banisadr, the subject of a single-artist presentation from 55Bellechasse, made the trip.
Going back to her native country, however, isn’t so easy, she told artnet News, because there’s always the fear that she’ll be punished by the authorities thanks to her self-portrait based work.
In her “Freud” photographs, Banisadr wears a Muslim head-covering—a necessary accessory in Iran but a problematic garment in France—but no top beneath it, questioning both attempts to dictate her appearance. Another series, “Sexy Windows,” sees Banisadr’s apartment, seen from across the way, stand in for the artist, a long, diaphanous white curtain swaying suggestively in the breeze. Photos are $30,000 for the entire set, while the “Freud” images are $10,000 each.
5. Jill Freedman at Steven Kasher Gallery, New York
Steven Kasher Gallery offers a fascinating history lesson in the work of Jill Freedman, one of the only photographers who documented Resurrection City, a 3,000-person strong shantytown built on the National Mall in Washington, DC, as part of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968.
Conceived of by Martin Luther King Jr. and occupied after his assassination, Resurrection City lasted for six weeks, during which its residents coped with horrendous weather and a lack of facilities—an overlooked chapter in the Civil Rights Movement, captured here in striking detail. Freedman’s incongruous image of a number of ramshackle lean-tos, the Washington Monument looming above, seem like something out of a dystopian movie rather than a real-life precursor to Occupy Wall Street.
It’s just a small sampling of what’s on offer from the gallery in its first curated fair booth, prominently titled “21 Artists, One Straight White Male.” “It just felt appropriate to do something really conscientious,” gallery sales director Cassandra Johnson told artnet News. The full set of prints commands an undisclosed six-figure sum, with select individual images available for $6,000 each.
6. Barbara Macklowe at Throckmorton Fine Art, New York
Over the course of two trips in 2004 and 2005, gallerist and photographer Barbara Macklowe (of New York’s Macklowe Gallery) captured the vibrant colors of India, eventually publishing the book India in My Eyes.
“I went to mainly tribal areas,” the artist told artnet News. “I came back with thousands of photographs, all taken with film.” At AIPAD, a selection of five images are for sale from Throckmorton Fine Art, Inc., at $2,500–5,500.
7. Occhiomagico at Sabrina Raffaghello Contemporary Art, Berlin and Milan
During the 1980s, Occhiomagico created a series of surrealist fantasies for the cover of Domus, the Milan-based architecture and design magazine founded in 1928. “Photoshop didn’t exist,” gallerist Sabrina Raffaghello says of creation of the Pop-flavored images, which came to life through a combination of the darkroom, painting, and collage.
She is hoping to sell the entire collection for $80,000, but will part with some of the original prints for $5,000 each.
8. Rania Matar at Pictura Gallery, Bloomington, Indiana
The universality of girlhood and coming of age is fertile ground for Rania Matar, a Lebanese-Palestinian photographer based in Boston, who took up her craft following 9/11. “The them-versus-us rhetoric made me want to tell a different type of story about the Middle East,” she told artnet News.
Her photos of young girls, both living in America and in refugee camps in the Middle East, capture that awkward stage between childhood and adolescence, with the girls posed unsmiling and somewhat self-conscious, but their eyes full of hope. The series, titled “L’Enfrant Femme,” is priced at $2,600–5,000 each.
9. Christopher Russell at Upfor, Portland, Oregon
Christopher Russell creates his ghostly, beautiful images by painstakingly scratching patterned designs into the surface of his abstract-looking, one-of-a-kind photographs, selling in various sizes for $3,230, $4,850, and $9,500.
Shooting outside in natural light, he throws fabric over the lens, creating fields of glowing, luminous color that float hazily above barely visible trees and other natural features. “I sort of scratch in fantasies of the landscape,” Russell says of his minutely detailed razor-blade work.
10. Kudzanai Chiurai at Rick Wester Fine Art, New York
Exiled from his native Zimbabwe in 2004 for an unflattering artwork featuring Robert Mugabe, Kudzanai Chiurai now lives in South Africa, where he creates work critiquing the socio-politics of contemporary Africa.
His arresting Revelations V shows young women in improvised military garb posed against a backdrop of richly colored fabrics, a searing inditement of the violent civil wars that grip parts of the continent. The powerful image is priced at $12,000.
The AIPAD Photography Show is on view at Pier 94, at 711 12th Avenue, at West 54th Street, New York, March 30–April 2, 2017.
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