Spoilt for choice? Not our Paris/Berlin correspondent Rolf Scheider. On the agenda this November 2019 were no less than five photo trade fairs – which he, of course, all visited. “One thing I did notice this year,” Rolf tells us looking back, “is that there are not only the photo trade fairs but also dozens of events like the ones we know from fashion shows.” And we can already imagine what his program for 2020 might look like... and here is a summery of his adventures – and, of course, plenty of photos that are alone enough to whet the appetite for a trip to Paris.
The highlight of Paris Photo in 2019 was probably the vernissage of Manfred Thierry Mugler in the POLKA GALLERY on the Rue Saint-Gilles, the creative epicenter in Marais and headquarters of the GoSee editorial office. Almost 2000 enthusiastic visitors pushed their way into the rooms of the gallery, to meet the somewhat long-in-the-tooth createur and get a glimpse of his photographs. Of course, all his favorite muses were at his side during the vernissage. These included actress and model Violetta Sanches, photographer Ellen von Unwerth and his long-year agent Aline Soulier, a good friend of Rolf’s for more than 30 years... The exhibition is still on through 11 January, 2020.
Following the success of the ‘Couturissime’ retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and publication of the monograph ‘Manfred Thierry Mugler Photographer’ by Martinière, the exhibition pays homage to Mugler’s fascinating ‘creatures’: his models. Adventurer that he is, his calling, photography and fashion, has taken him around the globe. He has photographed on the rooftops of buildings, in the Sahara, and in the shadows of the icebergs of Disko Bay. In China, Russia, Japan, Mali. In den Mexican galaxies of Luis Barragan. Under the hooves of horses at the Grand Palais and the eagle at Opera Garnier in Paris. On the art deco peaks of the Chrysler Building in New York. Far beyond reportage or travel photography, Journalist Marie Colmant writes: “In this adventure, Mugler is the photographer, but also the Director, who carries it all on his shoulders, who has an ideal image in his mind and will end his search only when it’s a wrap.”
“I spent at least five hours at PARIS PHOTO each day. On the first – when all the respected collectors and museums come – most of the photographs are sold within the first few hours. Of course, there are record sales like the large format Sigmar Polke at the Kicken Gallery for € 385,000. But there were also photos for everyone’s budget, for instance a framed photo of DMITRY MARKOW for € 600 at the Agnes B. Gallery. The drag queen photos of Martin Schoeller at the gallery CAMERA WORK were available for around € 4700 and really caught my eye.” says Rolf Scheider. Whoever fancied, could get their fill of books and prints in the book department. This year, more than 330 internationally renowned artists were represented in the signature program of the book industry, including Massimo Vitalli, Nadav Kander, Yan Morvan, Sabine Weiß, Sophie Call, Antoine d’Agata, Martin Parr, Bruce Gilden, Todd Hido, Roger Ballen, William Klein, Pieter Hugo, Pierre et Gilles, and, and, and, ...
As an official partner, J.P. MORGAN presented the Collective Identity exhibition, an extensive selection of photographic portraits from the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection. As a further official partner since 2003, BMW renewed its commitment to support photography and equipped Emeric Lhuisset, winner of the BMW 2019 Residence, with a coveted Carte Blanche.
“I was deeply touched and captivated by the awards ceremony of PINK RIBBON PHOTO AWARD by Estée Lauder.” Since its first edition in 2012, the mission of the Estée Lauder Pink Ribbon Photo Award is to mobilize the public to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer, through the campaign, held each autumn in France by the non-profit organization Le Cancer du Sein. The contest is open to all photographers, amateurs and professionals. pinkribbonaward.fr
Donations are welcome under cancerdusein.org
APPROCHE PARIS – a small but notable ART FAIR with extraordinary highlights – is more of a boutique event, conceived as an exhibition with a curated perspective which obscures the boundaries between the world of photography and that of contemporary art. “My highlights were the works of Lebhoang Kgnaye, Dune Varela and Noé Sendas.”
PHOTO SAINT GERMAIN – On 17 days, visitors could stroll around the historical Saint German district and take a look at 32 photo exhibitions by 60 photographers in 18 galleries and institutions including the École des Beaux-Arts Paris and various book shops. “My absolute, absolute highlight was German artist JOHANNA REICH. With RESURFACE, a project on which she has been working for several years, she showcases female artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.”
FOTO FEVER – is more of a sales exhibition targeted at a broader public which offers a selection of works for less than € 1000. Tours, lectures ... FOTO FEVER affirms its commitment to openness and making contemporary photography accessible to every audience, whether amateur or professional. And this year, it fought to ensure that more than 50 % of the exhibited photos came from women. FOTO FEVER is perhaps the first fair for contemporary art to have achieved this goal, which reflects the growing number of women in today’s younger generation of artists.
OFFPRINT PARIS – celebrated its 10-year anniversary and returned to Beaux-Arts de Paris from 7 to 9 November, 2019. The trade fair brought together 160 international publishing houses from the areas of visual art, design, the arts and urban culture. “And this is where you meet the coolest and most charismatic women and men among the visitors, who look like they could glide over the runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York. My casting heart almost skipped a beat! A treasure trove for a casting director like me...” an obviously content Rolf Scheider tells.