November has traditionally been the Mois de la Photo in Paris, paying tribute to photography as fine art and giving a nod to its origins in France thanks to Nicéphore Niépce, Daguerre, and the Lumière Brothers, among others.
Although the Mois de la Photo moniker has shifted a bit over the years in terms of its exact schedule, we always look forward to the monumental Paris Photo event every year in mid-November.
This year, Paris Photo returns in grand fashion (from now until November 14) after the 2020 cancellation due to Covid protocols. As the largest international art fair dedicated to photography, the 24th edition of Paris Photo brings together more than 200 galleries and publishers.
This year, the galleries move to the new Grand Palais Ephémère on the Champs de Mars to offer work from masters and emerging talent to thousands of local and visiting photography lovers and collectors.
Galleries from all over the world present a range of work, from vintage treasures to the contemporary images stretching the boundaries of the medium to stand out in the sea of thousands of images.
The highlights this year are many, but here are a few of the most interesting.
Atlanta gallery Jackson Fine Art (Booth B31) features Burkina Faso artist Saïdou Dicko, who creates portraits of people from his community and interweaves the hand-painted figures with cloth from the region.
An installation from The Anonymous Project at the Polka Gallery (Booth B1) breaks boundaries of the two-dimensional photograph, as does new work by Mehdi Meddaci at the Galerie Odile Ouizeman (Booth A3).
Spanish artist Carlos Aires, featured in Barcelona’s ADN Gallery (Booth B19), combines photographs of currency notes with social message, as well as images on alternative materials such as ceramics.
At the Silk Road Gallery (Booth F2), Iranian artist Maryam Firuzi presents cinematic stories with an underlying influence of poetry and painting.
Also in the cinematic tradition, American Sandy Skoglund builds every detail of her sets and places her subjects somewhere between reality and dream. (Paci Gallery in Booth F5.)
Russian born American Alexey Titarenko presents the elegance of crowd movement in his slow shutter speed captures of human rhythms at the Nailya Alexander Gallery (Booth C29).
Senegalese Omar Victor Diop presents his new series Allegoria at the Galerie MAGNIN-A (Booth B4) — images that mysteriously and prophetically reflect the question of environmental change and its impact on the African continent. A fable of the future.
Paris Photo also offers lectures, conversations with photographers and curators, and, for the first time, an online viewing gallery.
Other Photography Opportunities
If you tire of the Paris Photo crowds (or prices), look for quieter ways to support the local Paris galleries that also focus on photography during the Mois de la Photo.
Don’t miss the “In A Paris Moment” exhibit of Bonjour Paris contributor Meredith Mullins at the Galerie Maître Albert in the 5th arrondissement until November 20. The show features stunning scenes of rare Paris snows, the graceful and gravity-defying artistry of the Paris circuses, and the ever-present stories that unfold in the Paris streets.
Also visit the many venues of the Rencontres Photographiques of the 10th arrondissement (until December 1) or Photo Saint Germain (until November 20), presenting exhibitions in various locations in the quartier.
Paris has always considered photography an integral part of French life and art. Enjoy the celebration. Vive la photographie!
For more information about Paris Photo, visit here.
Galerie Maître Albert is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. An additional vernissage is scheduled for November 17 from 3 pm to 9 pm, if you’re in Paris.
Lead photo credit : © Omar Victor Diop. Allegoria 3, 2021. Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.