The Photography Show held its 37th edition at Pier 94 in New York City from March 30 through April 2, 2017. With over 115 participating galleries from around the world, the exhibition, organized by AIPAD, is the longest-running photography event of its kind. This year’s edition featured an expanded showing of modern and contemporary photographs, alongside video and works in new media. Amid the expanse of exceptional artworks, these seven contemporary photographers stood out from the crowd.
Based in San Francisco, Jim Campbell is one of the leading American artists working in new media, best known for his evocative LED screen works and large-scale light installations. As a former filmmaker, Campbell implements technology to build impressions, rather than narratives, that explore themes of movement by altering the speed and resolution of his films. Campbell has exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, from the Museum of the Moving Image in New York to the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen and the Chronus Art Center in Shanghai.
German-born Alma Haser’s Cosmic Surgery series exhibited at AIPAD combines her fine art background with photography, utilizing collage techniques and origami to portray jarring portraits with an alien quality. Her photographic works depict an otherworldly future of aesthetic surgeries and mood-altering procedures. Haser’s art process begins with photographing her subjects, whom she then folds into an origami structure. She places the folded portraits on the original photograph, and finally, re-photographs the two images together. Haser won the Magenta Foundation’s Bright Spark Award for Cosmic Surgery in 2013, and was shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery, London in 2012. Haser had solo and group exhibitions at The Photographer’s Gallery in London and at UNSEEN in Amsterdam.
French artist Valérie Belin was born in 1964, and is currently based in Paris. Belin has been developing themes of disorder and chaos, creating works that are both visually and psychologically complex. Main concepts behind the All Star series exhibited at AIPAD examine stereotypes, psychology, and consumerism. Her photographic composites feature super-heroines in high-fashion settings with vintage comic book imagery. Through this unusual juxtaposition, Belin creates an alternate story. In 2015, Belin was awarded the Prix Pictet in 2015 for her work titled Disorder. She has exhibited in major institutions worldwide, including Centre Pompidou in Paris and New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.
Mark Lyon’s series titled Bay Views, featured at AIPAD, is a sequence of photographs depicting American car washes. He expertly juxtaposes the industrial, shabby interiors with a glimpse of serene nature to poetically express beauty in unlikely places. Lyon’s angles masterfully create depth and dimension, drawing the viewer into each image. Lyon was honored with the Photographer’s Fellowship from The Center of Photography at Woodstock, New York, he was the runner-up at the Aperture Portfolio Prize, and was named one of The Critical Mass Top 50. His works are in the permanent collections of The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, and the Indie Photobook Library at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Brazilian-born artist Vik Muniz has already made a name for himself as one of the top photographers and mixed-media artists in the world. He is perhaps best known for utilizing common materials to recreate intricate replicas of historical masterpieces, such as Double Mona Lisa (1963) by Andy Warhol, which he constructed with peanut butter, jelly, and repurposed trash. Muniz’s photograph, Boy with Pipe, After Picasso is part of his Pigment series, in which he recreates works by Picasso and Matisse. The artist has exhibited in major museums, galleries, and art fairs around the world, from Atlanta’s High Museum of Art to New York City’s International Center of Photography and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga in Spain. Recently, he installed an artwork along New York City’s new second avenue subway line.
German artist Christiane Feser was born in 1977, and currently works in Frankfurt. Feser’s works are known for challenging perception and traditional notions of what constitutes a photograph. Her multi-step process combines photography with fine art techniques. The artist begins by photographing geometric images, which she alters by cutting, folding, or carving. She then re-photographs the objects, which take on a sculptural appearance. Feser has exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina in Florence, and the Mönchehaus Museum in Goslar, Germany.
American artist Susan Rankaitis began her career as a painter, art director, and research assistant at the University of Illinois. Rankaitis has since focused on depicting scientific subject matters in her artworks. In her latest series titled Grey Matters, she is influenced by the Bauhaus artist László Moholy-Nagy’s technique, and continues to explore experimental photography and abstract paintings to represent the science of interoception: a process in which the sensory nerve cells convey information to the brain. Rankaitis’ resulting artworks are striking and evocative. The artist has exhibited in major museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.