Edited by Valeria Federici, Art Editor, valeria.federici@positive-magazine.com

Paris Photo at the Grand Palais (Paris) offers and extraordinary overview of contemporary photography. With dozens of photographers on display the viewer can wander between all genres from urban landscape to portrait and then meet the old masters.

Alfredo Jaar – Shangai. El Artista del Futuro (Courtesy Galeria Oliva Arauna)

This article touches on a few photographers’ work hoping to offer some hints on which the visitor could build upon while at Paris Photo.

Helen Levitt – New York City (Courtesy Estate of Helen Levitt at Laurence Miller exhibitor)

Helen Levitt – New York City (Courtesy Estate of Helen Levitt at Laurence Miller exhibitor)

Let’s start with Valerie Belin. Her work is centered on iconic female figures which she represents on multilayered background. The figure stands in the center of the photograph blending with a series of images that constitute both the background and the texture of which she is made of. The iconic woman emerges from her own consumeristic dreams of which she is a part.

Valerie Belin – Bride ATM (Courtesy Galerie Jerome de Noirmont, Paris at ART & Confrontation exhibitor)

Joel Peter Witkin’s prints resemble late XVI paintings where the lesson of the Renaissance use of perspective and rule of composition are both well assimilated and it is now time to play with decadence, death and mystery.

Joel Peter Witkin – Death is like lunch… it’s coming (Courtesy of the artist at Baudoin Lebon exhibitor)

City and architecture are often a source of inspiration in photography. What catches the photographer’s attention might be the cast of a shadow on a colored wall or the emptyness of a subway station through which the camera captures both, the absence of human being and the alienation of oneself in a urban environment which is made by human for human and yet sometime unfriendly.

Adam Bartos – Cairo, Egypt (Ramses Hilton under construction) – (Courtesy Gitterman Gallery)

Timm Rautert – Mensch in einem Photoautomaten (Courtesy of the artist at Perrotta Contemporary Art exhibitor)

Timm Rautert – New York Bus  (Courtesy of the artist at Perrotta Contemporary Art exhibitor)

Tze Tsung Leong – San Francisco, La Paz (Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery)

Tze Tsung Leong – Shibuya I, Tokio (Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery)

War, riot, uprising… the work of many photographers is right on the field where their camera witnesses and records what the world observes from a distance. It is in this context that Tim Hetherington creates his strong photographs where a glance of a soldier or his yelling in an empty bunk room penetrate into our soul as soon as we turn our eyes to them.

Tim Hetherington – Battle Company in Afghanistan (Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery)

Tim Hetherington – Civil War in Loberia (Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery)

George Tony-Stoll brings on paper what after Abu Ghraib we can no longer ignore. Memories of torture that we haven’t seen but we have imagined and unfortunately we can’t remove. Photography has done this too, has given us the opportunity to view more and with the power of the image has changed our approach to reality for ever.

George Tony-Stoll – Les activistes (Courtesy Galerie Jerome Poggi, Paris)

George Tony-Stoll – Ma main, ta main (Courtesy Galerie Jerome Poggi, Paris)

Taysir Batniji’s work is descriptive, punctual and strictly connected with his surroundings. Whether the image is loaded with details or depicts a bare wall with little on it, the photograph is always evocative and it calls for a second look.

Taysir Batniji – Les Pères 1 (Courtesy Sarl Galerie Eric Dupont)

Taysir Batniji – Les Pères (Courtesy Sarl Galerie Eric Dupont)

The fun part is that staring at something for too long, sometime it might result in focusing just on the contingency while forgetting to look at the bigger picture instead!

Adam Bartos – Mombasa, Kenya (Courtesy Gitterman Gallery)

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