New York Photo Review
Volume 4 Issue 17 April 17 to 23, 2013

The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino

And There’s More

AIPAD Photography Show New York
Photo by Norman Borden . Source: Norman Borden © Norman Borden
Norman Borden, "Yu Xiao at AIPAD" 2013.
Something old, something new...you always know what to expect at the annual AIPAD Photography Show in New York and this year’s version did not disappoint. There was the usual assortment of iconic masterpieces for sale, other vintage work from some lesser-known photographers, and more emerging artists. Several new gallery exhibitors, among them the Clampart Gallery from Chelsea, KlompChing Gallery from Brooklyn, and the M97 Gallery from Shanghai presented. What else was new? As Karen Marks, sales director at the Howard Greenberg gallery said, “This year’s show is consistent with last year’s...they keep the quality high.” Continuity and diversity were on display; the crowded aisles seemed to indicate that’s what sells. There were museum curators, serious collectors, and just browsers looking around, some with checkbooks in hand. After all, where else can you go shopping at more than 80 galleries from around the world in less than eight hours?

Darren Ching of the KlompChing gallery explained that they came to AIPAD in order to reach new buyers and show a range of work from a few of their artists. Ching said, “We’re meeting some of our customers for the first time here...being an AIPAD member is important to buyers because it’s a stamp of approval.” (To join AIPAD, a gallery must have adhered to AIPAD’s standards for five years and be sponsored by five current members.) In any case, Ching was happy that the several sets of work had completely sold out*.

Photo by Norman Borden . Source: Norman Borden © Norman Borden
Norman Borden, "Untitled" 2013.
The 798 Photo Gallery in Beijing featured the work of 28-year-old Chinese conceptual artist, Yu Xiao. In a series of large photomontages called “Nursery Rhymes,” Xiao illustrated her interpretation of what it’s like for Chinese youth or the “Young Pioneers” to grow up “under the machine-made traditional education mode.“ Although the children are engaged in activities that would normally bring smiles, their faces are emotionless. The ten children on swings in “Beautiful Garden” do not look like happy campers. The artist’s statement, which is poorly translated, does not help to explain her intentions and may confuse Western audiences.

On display at Peter Fetterman was probably the largest photography book ever printed – Genesis by Sebastiao Salgado, two volumes in a limited edition. (704 pages, 18.4 x 27.6 inches, Taschen Books). Fetterman was also showing Stephen Wilkes’s newest 48 x 60 inch image in his stunning Day for Night series—Inauguration 2013. Wilkes, who just happened to be standing nearby, explained some of the many production elements in the image, which took him 24 hours to shoot. He’s giving a copy to the President.

Photo by Alejandro Cartagena . Source: kopeikingallery.com
Alejandro Cartagena, "Car Poolers 6".

Over at Kopeikin Gallery, I saw a series of 12 color images entitled “The Car Poolers” by Alejandro Cartagena, a Mexican photographer. Cartagena apparently stood on a highway overpass and photographed open pickup trucks carrying day laborers as they passed below. While the photographer’s goal was to show the urbanization of Northern Mexico, I felt these pictures gave me a secret window into the not-so-pretty lifestyles of the underclass.

In a strictly unscientific survey, there seemed to be a greater selection of work in the $1,500 to $5,000 category than in past years. Still, AIPAD is what it is— not many new surprises in the world of fine art photography but enough to feed on for a day or two of casual looking or serious shopping. Take your pick.

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Correction. An earlier version of this essay misidentified work sold at the Klompching Gallery. Please contact the gallery website for availability and price information. We apologize for the error.

And There’s More by Norman Borden

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