Sunday, November 19, 2006

Paris Photography Galleries

After having visited Paris Photo 2006 and creating my blog on Paris Photo 2006, JustmeinParis was ready for some serious photographs in Parisian galleries of which there are hundreds. Well, sometimes you are hot and sometimes you are not. Maybe it's just me but when I say, "I could have taken a photo like that" I often wonder why I did not take a photograph and another photographer is showing his images in a gallery. Here is what I found.

Jeu de Paume, Hotel Sully

JustmeinParis love to walk through the grounds of Hôtel de Sully, a hôtel particulier, from rue de Rivoli to la Place des Vosges. Every time it seems like a wonderful discovery of graciousness in Paris. This was my first visit to Jeu de Paume, the underground art museum and now showing the photographs of Joel Meyerowitz in a exposition Out of the Ordinary, 1970-1980 until 14 January, 2007.

The years between 1970 and 1980 were not my favorite and photographs displaying life in those years do not strike me as especially rewarding. Considered to be slightly shocking at the time, Joel Meyerowitz's photographs are colorful, horizons out of line and certainly the antithesis of classic black and white art photography. Hmmm. They actually looked like snapshots to me. Looking on Joel Meyerowitz's web site, I found his other photographs much more interesting than this exhibition.

Ryan McGinley, Galerie du Jour, Agnès B.

The all American road trip is a classic and the photographs by Ryan McGinley show his adventures on such an American road trip in 2005. Certainly the huge, huge color prints show the free spirit and reality of youth but I kept thinking that I took plenty of road trips a while back and nobody was naked. Why are these guys and girls naked? Did I miss something? Is this the new road trip or was I hanging out with the wrong crowd? Finally I thought that my road trips were just as good but nudity was not important to us. Maybe I should have taken photos. Maybe my photographs would be hanging in a gallery somewhere. Well, I did not and they are not.

Centre du Culture Suedois

The Center of Swedish Culture is located in the Marais in an old hôtel particulier. Upon entry, I was struck by the open court with many small tables on the cobblestones. Every table was occupied by young people sipping hot chocolate and coffee and eating pastries from the cafe serving Swedish pastries.

On display were the photographs of Nina Korhonen and Anna Clarén. I found myself thinking that taking photographs of my mother whom I love, would be fine for the family but would I want to display these absolutely huge photographs for the world to see? This woman looks nothing like my mother. Hmmm.

Aux Marches de la Chine, Galerie Fait & Cause

While walking to back to a metro stop, I stumbled upon Galerie Fait & Cause, 58 rue Quincampoix, 75004 Paris that featured photographs of China taken by Wu JIALIN. Finally, here were photographs I could enjoy. Displayed in black and white, these photographs showed a point in history not normally seen. These photographs showed not at all the ugliness of poverty in China although there was, nor violence, nor sensation. Images of daily life of a common man were taken with sensitivity. Wu Jialin once said that he was ashamed to take photographs of people in the street but I find the energy of photographer and subject shine through. This gallery is definitely worth a visit and better yet, there is no entrance fee.


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