Once a year the worlds most prestigious photography art galleries gather in New York City and display their prized artwork. The event is called AIPAD. The primary function of this show is for collectors to purchase artwork. But for a student, or any lover of photography, it is a dream of a photography show. I walked the halls of AIPAD for hours. I saw original prints of some of the greats, like Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange and Edward Weston. I'd never seen any of these prints outside of a book and I didn't anticipate the greater impact that the physical print holds. I was emotionally moved just to be close to these photos. I saw some historic photos that I wish I hadn't seen. Photos of tragic events. Photos of war and execution. These are images I believe serve an important role in our society, but goodness they make me feel devastated and powerless to look at.
The first recent work that caught my eye was Sze Tsung Leong horizons. It was these two images of water and desert paired next to each other that stopped my in my tracks. After that Angela Strassheim image titled "Horses" gave me pause because it is highly intentional and yet somehow feels very real. After looking through more of her work, I see this is very much her style! In a very similar vain, Julie Blackman's "Thin Mints" made me first think of Abbie Road, but then when I got closer it made me laugh out loud. Again, clearly every bit is intentional but it looks and feels like a real moment. I feel like these must be images that these artist saw in real life or in memories and then embellishes, manipulates and recreates the feeling in an image. One step farther in the dream (or nightmare) world in Maggie Taylor. Although I am hard pressed to see these as photographs, I love the way they make me believe in the unbelievable. Continuing down the road of alter-reality, I saw Caltherine Nelson's work "Future Memories."
Perhaps the most intriguing work to me was that of Cig Harvey. I first flipped through her book, You Look at me like an Emergency and then I was mesmerized by her "motion" images. I think the work I saw by Harvey is some of the most moving work I've ever seen. Her ability to enhance a still image with words and simple motion is nothing short of remarkable.
Toward the end of my day at AIPAD, I took one last walk through the entire show counting nudes. I was struck that of 43 nudes or collections of nudes I saw, only 3 were of nude men. Does anyone else find that curious?