Paris Photo Los Angeles – Day 1

I died and went to photography heaven today and I hope I never lose the sense of wonderment and pleasure that can be gained from being at an event such as this.

Today was a feast for the eyes and the soul. How often do we get to stand before the work of Klein, Frank, Winogrand, Meyerowitz, Friedlander, Koudelka, Man Ray…and how often do we get to stand before the photographer in person – in this case William Eggleston?  Maybe for some this is an everyday occurrence, normality; but for me this is special, this touches at the very essence of what drives me to take photographs and to talk about photography.

It’s not just the big names, the ones I grew up with; it’s also the new names (at least new to me) giving me new avenues to explore like an excited tourist in a new town: Kenna, Mata Rosas, Pompery, Martínez, Søndergaard, Clergue, Bedoya, Franco, Jiminez, Herzog, Mekas. And this is from only half the fair, tomorrow I get to do it all over again and see what I missed today; more images, more names, more emotions.

The team at Paris Photo have done a fantastic job and I think they will feel satisfied with their choice of Los Angeles as a second home. The venue of Paramount Studios provides the perfect backdrop; from the constructed galleries in the stages, to the smaller spaces in the ‘New York’ shops; everything seemed at home. The diverse mix of people from collectors to gallery owners to photographers and everyday appreciators provided for an ambience that almost hummed.

Particular highlights for me – William Eggleston book signing; Sebastião Salgado’s VERY large format Genesis books at the Taschen Gallery and finding a Pablo Picasso portrait by Lucien Clergue (Stage 31).

Tomorrow I am particularly looking forward to listening to the conversation between Gregory Crewdson and Matthew Weiner and I’m looking forward to discovering what the galleries in stage 5 have to offer.

Maybe Sunday I’ll actually find some time to take my own photographs, but at present I’m more than happy to linger over the work of others.

If you’re visiting Paris Photo this weekend, then remember to take your childlike awe and wonder with you.

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