AIPAD: The Photography Show

Yesterday was the fourth and final day of the photo show held by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) at the Park Avenue Armory here in New York. I attended for all four days – after work for a short time on Thursday and Friday, then longer Saturday and yesterday. As far as I can tell, this was the first time that I attended the event since 2004, the last year for which I have a catalog (and I know that I got a catalog every year I went).

This was also the first time that I went to the event at the Armory, it having been previously held on two floors of the New York Hilton Hotel. I remember that the first time I went, my head was spinning with the sheer amount of prints to look at – on the walls of the dealers’ booths but mostly in the bins to look through. Everything that one could want to see (or so it seemed) from mid-19th Century prints to contemporary work. My catalogs tell me that I went every year from 1998 to 2004 with the exception of 2001.

So, why haven’t I gone for so long? I remember that initially I was away when the show was held, then I had the surgery on my foot that made standing difficult, then I just got used to not going. (Inertia, as most of you may know, is a difficult force to overcome.) Now that I’m trying to get active again and am taking my collecting a little more seriously, I thought it time to finally go back.

So, how’d it go? Pretty well, I’d say. As I was there for several days and was open to the idea of getting something for my collection, I took my time looking through things and spent time getting to know some of the dealers. (The man pictured here is Burt Finger, owner of the PDNB [Photographs Do Not Bend] Gallery in Dallas, Texas. He’s holding a couple of prints in his inventory: the nude with the hand by Andre Kertesz, the nude in silhouette by Ralph Gibson.)

I don’t know how the floor plans compare, but I got the impression that there was less total space at the Armory than there was with the two floors at the Hilton. Still, people seemed to like the new location better. There also didn’t seem to be as many bins with photos to look through; some dealers, in fact, only had photos on the walls of their spaces. This was disappointing in some ways – I think I saw only one Jock Sturges photo, for example – but it also made things a bit less overwhelming.

Of course, there was plenty of great photography to be seen by a lot of great photographers: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Irving Penn, Horst, Paul Caponigro, Michael Kenna, Keith Carter, Imogen Cunningham, Ruth Bernhard, Andre Kertesz, Edward Steichen, Jeanloup Sieff, Lillian Bassman and many more. I saw that two dealers had a copy of one of my favorite photos, “Imogen and Twinka” by Judy Dater, and at very different prices (the lower one still out of my price range, but maybe one day I’ll be able to afford it).

I also spoke with a couple of well-known photographers: Marilyn Bridges, who does wonderful aerial photography and who I knew already but I hadn’t seen for a while; and Steve McCurry, best known for his portrait of the red robed Afghan girl with the stunning eyes.

The event seemed to be fairly well attended this year despite the world’s economic woes. Thursday evening was quiet, more people were there Friday evening and the two weekend days seemed to be pretty well packed. I heard a couple of dealers say on Sunday afternoon that sales were pretty good though not as good as last year – but of course, they noted, this year is not last year.

As for me – well, most of what I would liked to have gotten was beyond my budget, but I did get a couple of relatively affordable prints by a well known, well published American photographer plus a couple of relatively inexpensive photos from eastern Europe. I want to re-matte these latter photos, but I saw that the photos are affixed to their mattes by tape on one side. Does anybody out there have any experience with undoing taped down photos?

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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2 Responses to AIPAD: The Photography Show

  1. Rob Steele at Steelepointe Gallery is an expert on removing taped-down prints from their mattes. I’m sure if you drop him a line he will share his secrets.But, here’s what I think he will tell you: Don’t try to remove the tape from the print. Just use a knife to cut it away…cut the tape along the edge of the photo…and then re-tape it to the new matte.

  2. Anonymous says:

    David,nice job… Thanks for including us… Hoe all is going well with you…. Missy and I are busy at the gallery getting ready for our next exhibitions..Wu Jai li, who photographed the mountain people on Yunan Province in China…And for the first time we will be exhibiting a suite of fourteen woodblock prints, by an artist who spent a Tour Of Duty in Vietnam as a combat artist… Look forward to hearing from you..My best Wishes,Agent 0069 1/2

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