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Five Favorites from Paris Photo 2018

This past weekend, the Grand Palais once again took Center Stage for a prominent artistic event – this time, the 2018 installment of Paris Photo. With almost 200 exhibitors proposing endless corridors, walls and corners covered in photography from all over the world, the sheer amount of art to peruse was almost as overwhelming as the crowds that came to see it. Some photos and digital works transported us back in time, others towards the future, and many ensured our feet were kept firmly in the present.

While it’s hard to choose highlights given the diversity and density of the fair, we’ve got five favorite photographic projects to share with you.

Let’s zoom in for a close-up…

1.) Let’s Dance

Presented on a perfect pink wall as part of the Suzanne Tarasieve Gallery’s 2018 display, ‘Danse,’ a photographic series by Boris Mikhailov, captured the attention of countless passers-by with its elegant white frames and charming storytelling. The series, published in 1978 but made up of photos taken in 1938, showcases unique perspectives, proportions and expressions of a community dancing outdoors. Captivatingly candid and full of personality, we couldn’t decide if this series made us want to run off to join a communal dance class, or start taking photos of one.

Author’s own photo.
Boris Mikhaïlov, Untitled, from the series ‘Danse,’ 1978. Gelatin silver print.

2.) A High Bar Set At Hamiltons

A long-standing photographic gallery with an equally long-standing reputation, Hamiltons Gallery continued to embody luxury and modern talent with their stand-out installation, characterized by dark walls and dim lighting. The unmissable exhibition contained, among others, Richard Avedon’s famous ‘In the American West’ series – a collection of portraits taken in Texas in 1979, as well as Raymond Depardon’s acclaimed ‘Depardon USA, 1968-1999’ – an immersive time warp and a whole lot of fun.

Raymond Depardon, from the series ‘Depardon USA, 1968-1999,’ USA.1981.
Richard Avedon, ‘Edward Roop, Coal Miner, Paonia, Colorado, 12/10/79,’ (1985), from the series ‘In the American West.’

3.) Stuck in the Mud

Arko Datto’s capture of a muddy moment of leisure perfectly suited the wet weather in Paris over the weekend. Adopting relaxed postures and unbothered by the observation of them, the boys in this image form a sweet representation of youth, friendship and innocent ease. As part of Datto’s series for which he photographed picnics in eastern India over the course of five Winters, this particular piece stood out among Le Bec en L’air gallery’s offerings. Even in a palais, it’s nice to get a little dirty.

Arko Datto, ‘Pik Nik,’ 2013

4.) Modern Masters

Michael Hoppen is a gallery known for featuring interesting contemporary photographers. Their exhibition space this year was no exception, and Irish photographer Eamonn Doyle’s ‘K’ series, which included strong images of draped silhouettes – at once haunting and liberating – was a breath of fresh air among the palais’ rows of monochrome retro clippings and traditional portraits.

Eamonn Doyle, ‘K’ series

5.) Crafty Canines

A selection of William Wegman’s well-known canine catalogue was on show with The Huxley-Parlour Gallery at this year’s event. Quoted in an interview with Paris Photo as claiming one of the reasons he got a dog was because he ‘didn’t like attention, and thought the dog would take some of it away from me,’ his crafty compositions and creative dress-ups have ironically ensured that attention will continue to be a fixture in his life – a close companion, just like his beloved Weimaraners.

William Wegman, ‘Boy and his Boy,’ 2002. Polaroid.

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