The Must-See Booths at the AIPAD Photography Show
From Doug and Mike Starn's prints of trees to Cass Bird's supermodels.
You might not realize that you’re an avid fan of photography, but that all changes when you step inside the Park Avenue Armory for the annual AIPAD show, organized by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers.
The array of offerings is vast, ranging from prints by the early masters of the genre such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Henry Fox Talbot, to “between the wars” photographers such as André Kertész and Eugène Atget, all the way up to the vibrant large-scale works of Edward Burtynsky and Robert Polidori, and the cutting edge LED works of Jim Campbell. Surprises are frequent and delightful.
The fair, which opened April 16 and runs through Sunday, April 19, seamlessly blends classic vintage prints with genre-bending works (see At AIPAD, Check Out Sebastiao Salgado, John Malkovich, and Liz Magic Laser and AIPAD, Still Beautifully Unsettling After All These Years).
Some of the works that leapt out at us during last night’s preview and opening party included David Emitt Adams’s wet plate collodion tintypes on cicular covers of oil drums at Tuscon’s Etherton Gallery. The works are part of a series titled “Power” and they depict electrical towers, industrial landscapes, and shipping ports. The photographer, who was on hand for the opening, explained that his process in these works is the same used by Civil War-era photographers.
Paci Contemporary, of Brescia, Italy, showed several of Sandy Skoglund’s immediately recognizable prints of surreal-looking rooms with hordes of airborne day-glo colored animals alongside a selection of previously unpublished works, from a series titled “Reflections in a Mobile Home,” featuring scenes of creepy damaged dolls, and eerie shots of bathrooms and kitchens that indeed look as though they were shot in an abandoned trailer park.
One of the gallery’s most eye-catching works, which was hanging on the exterior wall of the booth, is Dutch photographer Tuen Hock’s Untitled (To and Fro) (1986–2015), showing the artist in pajamas and bare feet, holding a candle and attempting to catch his airborne hat as he braces himself against gusts of wind, presumably in an attempt to make it back to a cozily lit home in the distance. The artist’s meticulous process—which involves taking a black-and-white shot of a scene he constructs in his studio and then hand-coloring the photograph with transparent oil pant—shines through.
Photographer Cass Bird, who we were not surprised to hear has shot for Vogue and W, had several medium and large-scale fashion-inspired color prints on view at Minneapolis-based Weinstein Gallery, including a picture of supermodel Daria Werbowy topless and skulking at the camera with a fox’s skin draped over her head and back and an image of two young woman, shot from behind, standing on an overpass along the FDR Drive in Manhattan stripping off their shirts.
Also in the fashion photography vein was William Klein’s paint-splashed triple black and white image of a veiled woman smoking. It was a popular draw at Howard Greenberg Gallery and reportedly one of the earliest sold works at the opening (see: Will Helmut Newton and Lee Friedlander Smash Records at Christie’s and Sotheby’s Upcoming Photograhy Sales).
Among other clear crowd favorites (and ours) were twins Doug and Mike Starn’s arresting prints of trees at HackelBury Fine Art, London. The works were prime examples of their conceptual approach to photography and show that the Starns are continuing their exploration of nature.
We were also pleasantly surprised to encounter in real life the honey-drenched subjects of photographer Blake Little that had not too long ago gone viral on the Internet (see Portrait Photographer Blake Little Coats His Subjects In Honey). At Los Angeles gallery Kopeikin, an image of an infant covered in honey, Riot (2013), was hanging in the booth.
Not surprisingly, the images were prompting interesting conversation at last night’s opening, which we of course couldn’t help overhearing.
“Is this a real baby?” asked one incredulous viewer. “Yes,” responded a gallery staffer. “The parents were into it.” (We couldn’t help wonder if the baby was too.)
In another exchange, a gallery staffer told a viewer, “The honey is really easy to wash off.” To which a woman visitor to the booth responded, “I’ll have to remember that for my next escapade with honey.”
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