So what about the photography ? Well I am going to leave everyone to make their own minds up on that but I did manage to do a quick tour of the curated pavilions and satellite shows. The thing is I have seen a lot of the work before. Yes I know the physical experience is so much more enlightening then the computer screen and it should be no surprise in this day and age how familiar most of it is, so should I be shocked?
Then there is the bigger question that has been floating around and one I will leave for you to ponder, is the festival more about the curators then the photography and the photographers themselves? One of the neat things is that all the photographer seminars are by photographers featured in the curated pavilions so it gives you the chance to take in a little show and tell and if nothing else but a face and voice to the work.
Unfortunately you may have missed the highlight already because straight out the gate in the first seminar Roger Ballen knocked everyones socks off. Man was he good, rock star good as he stepped out from behind the computer grabbed the microphone and started stalking the stage. This was not what I was expecting; as he dropped his head, changed the tone of his voice and entered the Shadow Chamber for real bringing us along for the ride. Think split personality meets performance piece: a monologue ala Spalding Grey. He was good very good this was rehersed but yet spontaneous. Awesome ! Its all down hill from here folks.
The fine weather brought out the crowds. Still managable though and a ton of Europeans have made the trip. Oh and yeah everyone with a camera shooting everything that moved. We managed to pack in a busy evening of social happenings. First up was the opening reception for Portraits by Getty Images in which I have a piece. The show features work by photographers represented by Getty in one form or another. The work on display is not necessarily represented by Getty as is my case. Just wanted to clear all that up as people were wondering. The interesting thing was some of the big names on show whom one didn’t realize had associations with Getty, there seems to be no escaping their mighty tentacles.
As with a lot of the shows this one isn’t in a gallery space proper, so 300 people and no air conditioning led to a sweaty gathering which in turn led to a run on the bar which duly ran dry tout suite. So we skipped the Book Soup event for a bar and a cold beer before back to party central aka the powerHouse arena the gigantic photo book signing extravaganza which was busy but not overwhelming. The signing photographers were given name tags and let wander freely. Yeah man nice and loose, good times. To top it off we scored an invite to a party at David Alan Harveys loft at the infamous 475 Kent street building in South Williamsburg. When does this man stop; between all the assignments, the self assignments, Magnum, National Geographic the 4 blogs where does he get the time.
So enough with all that you know why your really here; who was spotted out and about at NYPH 08 day one:
photographers - Tina Barney, Alex Tehrani, Steve Pyke, Corinne May Botz, Q Sakamaki, Jessica Dimmock, Christian Patterson, Shane Lavalette, Mark Peterson, Danielle Levitt, Stefan Ruiz, Caroll Tavares, Eric McNatt, Kent Rogowski, Cory Treadway, Michael Buhler-Rose, John Saponara, Joseph Michael Lopez, Jonathan Saunders, Chris Bartlett, Amy Stein, Robert Wright, Jordana Zeldin, Jeff Jacobson, Jeff Mermelstein, Brian Finke, Livia Corona, Shannon Fagan, Chase Jarvis, Vincent Laforet, Trevor Ray Hart, Alessandra Petlin, Jonathan Torgovnik, Gillian Laub, Lauren Fleishman, Rudy Archuleta, photo editors - Alison L Unterreiner: Esquire, Maisie Todd and Nancy Weisman: ESPN the Magazine, Jessica P.Levy: Cosmo Girl, Darrin Ching creative director PDN and gallery owner ClompChing with his wife and partner Debra Clomp, photo reps Matt Seminara: Friend and Johnson, Rob Magnotta: Edge Reps, Nanci Iacoi, Christina Cahill and Marcia Kebbon: Orchard Represents, Laura Reid, Jesi Bevi, Jamine De Foore and son Henry: Redux Pictures Phil Bicker: creative director The Fader, Kellie McLaughlin: Aperture, Jen Bekman: gallerist Jan Bekman gallery, Eric Miles: director rare books and auctions Photo-Eye, Megan Ziegler-Haynes: director of photography Photoshelter, Michael Costuros: Founder/CCO Livebooks, Evan Niisselson: Chairman/founder Digital Railroad and the blog father himself Joerg Colberg: Conscientious.
Andrew Hetherington is a freelance editorial and commercial photographer. He is the author of the popular photo blog ‘Whats the jackanory ? ’.
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