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Saturday, 28 March 2009


If you really want to attend next year, sign up now. :-)

(Helpful cat is helpful.)

It's a hopeful pic and all that, and no doubt paid for a lot of bills, but I like his gritty stuff way better.

That was sort of my point...I don't mean to slander the things you can see at AIPAD, because of course there's lots and lots of great stuff, but there's an identifiable undercurrent of what one might call "fine art populism," if that's not too much of an oxymoron--the dealers are trying to sell stuff, so you tend to see the great chestnuts or the closest thing they have to it. Big names in abundance, well known pictures in preference to lesser known ones, fashion and sentiment in fair abundance.

At least this was true at the AIPAD shows I attended, although that's getting to be a long time ago now.

Of course there's still a cornucopia of riches, and it's a particularly great place to see original prints if you're eager for that.


I thought the Smith photo was titled "The Walk to Paradise Garden," as it is labelled on the back cover of the Jim Hughes biography of Smith. The connection, to Smith, was a piece from a Frederick Delius 1907 opera with that name. I also read somewhere that its printing from the original was quite involved, so that he made a copy negative from a successful print, and used that for many years. I hope the print coming up for sale is really "vintage vintage," and not just "vintage."


Danziger is offering a sort of running review over at The Year in Pictures, Mike.

Who was it that said AIPAD stood for All Important Photographers Are Dead? I'm thinking maybe David Vestal, but I could be wrong.

I've been to AIPAD 10 or so times now, and I would not disagree with your overall gestalt, that it largely represents "salable" work. But also new stuff that dealers are hoping will make a splash. And a lot of iconic, pricey, vintage work that dealers use as the hook to draw you into their booth. For me, attending AIPAD year to year was mostly a way to get a sense of the trends in the collecting world: The rise of the BIG prints.... the gradual acceptance of digital technologies....the appearance of color (COLOR!).... even changes in the way work is framed/displayed. Can't be there this year, but I'll be there next year. I'll try to remind you, Mike.

This reminded me that next week are the three major Spring photograph auctions in NYC -- Cristie's, Sothby's, and Phillips.
Their catalogs are on-line, with pre-sale estimates.
Lots of good stuff coming out of the woodwork, and prices are definitely more affordable for some major photographs.
Wish I'd sold my Adam's Moonrise 10 years ago, as the prices are about half what they were at their peaks.

"In the Garden" is not usual. The kids are facing away; this was a huge "first". Also, this was some of Smith's first work after the grievous wounding in the South Pacific. Both important reasons to not denigrate it any way.

Much later, much, I took a "snap" of my 2 little girls, with a very similar feel; I was unfamilar with this photo, but I felt the one I took, and then when I saw this, were and are great pieces. Enough, that I feel protective of them both. Most important, they move me. Grrr.


I'm not disrespecting "The Walk to Paradise Garden." But it does represent a popular favorite that's not especially representative of the photographer's work, and one which undeniably appeals to those who don't know much about Smith or like him very much, as well as those who do!


On AIPAD: is there ever actually anything on show that real people can afford? Or should one treat it like a giant art gallery of masters?

Regarding the coverage: like the Danziger coverage, with some good snaps. DLK, on the other hand, has some of the worst blog snaps I've seen in a long time. How hard can it be for a photo dealer to make in focus, basic WBal'd snaps for the web?

The text below the word Admission is from the AIPAD web site.

Please note the reference to the Membership Directory & illustrated catalog. In 1996 & 7 I went to the AIPAD Show and bought their catalog. It contains a list of member galleries, but also an alphabetical list of photographers and which galleries represent them. A good many of the galleries have ads in the catalog with reproductions of one or more of the prints that they are trying to sell. In a quick glance thru the 1997 catalog, I see pictures by Ansel Adams, Man Ray, Edward Weston, Helmut Newton, and Dorothea Lange. The show, as was mentioned in an earlier post, is aimed at the high end market. But the catalog at a half inch thick, with a hundred or more pictures and is (IMHO) worth the cost and if you are in New York City this weekend going to the show is worth doing once just to see the prints on display.

$25 daily
$40 for the run-of-show (includes catalogue)
$10 student daily admission

2009 AIPAD Membership Directory & Illustrated Catalogue
$10, if purchased separately during the Show


This raises the somewhat disconcerting notion that popularity of a work is a "negative". I understand the "cliche" aspect of this piece, though I would contend that it is representative of his humanist approach, which is a current in his work. Also, it wasn't a "cliche" until he had done this. I am fond of this piece because it speaks to the same drive that has me raising kids #3 & 4, when I should be thinking of retirement, as well as the healing of Smith, himself. I guess I don't mind a little chicken fat with my art.

Bron :-)

1. The photography market IS the affordable end of the art market. Some collectors get into it because they can't afford to collect art.

2. I often think of that when I see fancy photo equipment being sold on Ebay...with totally horrendous pictures of the gear. It's sort of a "well, no wonder" kind of thing.

(Although, many times, I suspect that people blur or defocus their Ebay pictures deliberately. Looking at a blurred picture, the mind tends to posit a smooth surface when in fact the pits and nicks might just be below the resolution threshold. It's a way of making imperfections invisible while giving the *appearance* of complete disclosure. Never buy items from blurred pictures, is good advice...I'm especially suspicious of blurry pictures from dealers with thousands of sales. How hard could it be to learn to take clear ones?)


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