Category Archives: Exhibitions

Lost in Art translation

November is Month of Photography in Paris and I was thinking of submitting this photo for an exhibition.  But I was hesitant.  Is it good enough for a photo exhibition or not?  So in order to help me with my dilemma I asked my friends their thoughts.



Draft title:  Parking


Not long after, I received mixed comments.   Some  were “FOR”.  Some said “Hmmm… you have better photos…” .

I explained that in a Photo Exhibition, the entries are usually strange, sometimes weird, the meaning goes very deep, the relevance is not obvious.  And there is usually an element of mystery.


The next day, I went to the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris and saw this display of bricks on a bicycle.  So I went back to my friends and said:

“Voila!  Here is an example of what I meant about Art as sometimes strange, weird, etc etc…

It is an entry by a Brasilian artist for the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) going on in Paris right now.

The title of the work: “Clay bricks, Metal bicycle”


Now, now, I have been staring at the thing for what seemed to be ages but I really cannot come out with any interpretation.

Balance? Harmony?

So as soon as I got home I searched the FIAC site and at last, found the artist’s explanation of the art.

” Héctor Zamora was born in 1974 in Mexico. He lives and works in Sao Paulo.

The bicycle is a mode of transport that is fundamentally mechanical, inspired by a child’s first steps, and relative to the laws of movement and balance.

Here, the movement that creates balance is deceived by an ingenious device, which suspends motion in the air.
Héctor Zamora observes the astute and convenient maneuvers of workers’ activity, adds a Latin-American twist and transforms them into a portrait.

Workers, dynamics, and ideas of modular matter are recurrent motifs in the work of the Mexican artist, who discovers, in trivial, standard elements, the essence of movement.

Stacked and tenuous, the disposition of the modular red bricks destined for construction, suggest a solid edifice, nonetheless placed on an unstable vehicule, itself balanced on inflatable foundations.

Above the rubber tubes, supported by the immobile bicycle, rests the weight of a delirious composition of progress: Brazil.”


Hmmm… Now I understand.  He’s right.  And it takes a Brazilian to understand what he is trying to express here.

Here is another FIAC entry last year.  Again, it would be very interesting to know its meaning but I leave you to find out.

A few days later, I got my “Parking” photograph enlarged and framed, ready for submission to the Art Director.  And you know what?  I actually find it very nice beneath the glass.  Well, I’ll wait and see what happens!

Photography in 100 masterpieces

“La photographie en 100 chefs-d’œuvre” is a photo exhibition that has been going on at the Bibliotheque National de Paris (BnF) since November last year. It’s been one in my list of “Must-Visits” but because of the many overlapping expos, shows and a busy diary, I kept procrastinating until I saw it quickly shown and reviewed on my favorite morning show, Telematin, that’s when I decided to go, same day, despite the strong wind and rain. Oh well, I would be under shelter of the gallery so it’s not a big deal!

The 100 photos on display are just among millions which have been with the BnF’s archives since 1851, during the time when photography was first invented and they came from donations, legal acquisitions and bequests from the artists themselves or their families or heirs. These artists were either professional photographers in their own right, or simply hobbysts or a complete unknown.   


Photographing the works is not allowed of course but I have learned the art of writing down the artist’s name, the title of the work and date taken and with  the help of the internet, I can post some of the photos here.

Join me in this exposition:

Robert Frank
Swiss-American (b. 1934, Switzerland)
White Tower, 14th Street, NYC, 1948


Etienne-Jules Marey
French (1830-1904)
The long jump, 1882


Lee Friedlander
American (b. 1934).
Kansas city, 1965

Along with Garry Winogrand and Walker Evans, they were considered as the masters of early Street Photography

Man Ray
American (1890-1976)
Nude bent backward, 1923

Jacques Prévert
French (1900 – 1977)
Boys on the road, 1948
(This collage was made on a photo taken by Robert Doisneau.)



And last but not least, very fitting to be on the No. 100th of the list is this photo of Emile Zola relaxing in his garden:

Emile Zola
French (1840-1902).
Médan. Self-portrait with his dog Pimpin, 1895

The caption says that this great French writer and journalist was at the time living two lives, one with his real life and the other, with his mistress. It is noted though that this garden where he took the photo is his principal home.

Note: The exhibit is on until 17 February 2013

Paris Photo 2012: David Lynch’s favorites…and mine

Previous: Paris Photo

David Lynch
by Nadav Kander

This is the person behind the Visual of Paris Photo 2012 , David Lynch, as photographed by Nadav Kander! You should see the other portraits done by this photographer! The way he interprets his subject through his lens is downright amazing!


And here are some of the photos that earned the little rectangular cards with the silver writing that says:  “Vu par David Lynch” (Seen by David Lynch)

Emmet Gowin
Nancy, Danville, Virginia, 1969
Masao Yamamoto (Japan 1957)
Anders Petersen (Soho, London)



And here are MY OWN favorites!

Sigmund Freud
by Hans Casparius (Germqn), 1933
Cindy Crawford, Hawaii, 1988
by Herb Ritts
Blue Swallow Motel, Highway 66, Tucumcari, New Mexico, July, 1990
by Steve Fitch
Man (with Rent Sign on Maxwell Street), 1967
by Vivian Maier
“I am always fishing for Compliments”…….Salvador Dali, 1954
by Philippe Halsman
Santa Monica, California, 1955
by Elliott Erwitt

I’m a great fan of Elliott Erwitt and his “decisive moment” is always a source of inspiration. He is exhibiting his “Personal Best” at Elephant Paname in Paris at the moment and I look forward to seeing his photos there!

Chanel for New York Times, 1997
by Sarah Moon

Sarah Moon was a model in the 60s until she started getting interested in photography in the 70s.  Would you believe that this photo she took now fetches for 26,000euros!

Gustave le Gray

Ah, Gustave le Gray….the genius who improved the techniques of photography when it was still the new rage in the mid-19th century! He was the first known teacher of the craft starting from his own studio in Paris. He became the official photographer of Napoleon 111 and Edward VII.

Gustave le Gray’s camera

and here is the camera he used…still preserved to this day!

Stone sidewalk, 1980
by Andy Warhol

I’d like to challenge you to observe this shot of Andy Warhol which is currently selling at 7,800euros.

Saint-Sulpice de Faviéres church, 2012
by mariadams

In 30 years’ time, I wonder if my own photograph of same sort of pavement stone bricks would fetch even one-fourth of Andy’s …

Paris Photo

The queue at the Paris Photo yesterday.

Founded in 1996, this is the first exhibition in the world dedicated to historical and contemporary photographic creations.   It is held in Paris every mid-November and late April in Los Angeles.


The first time I attended the exhibition was six years ago in the Carrousel du Louvre so I did not expect to see it in the Grand Palais.  Apparently, they just moved in here last  year, which is a good decision because it is always well-attended by local and international photo buffs and the Who’s Who of  Photography.


This year’s featured guest-curator is David Lynch (person in the visual).  As well as a photographer and an artist, he is also a filmmaker with  “Blue Velvet”, “Twin Peaks” and “Mulholland Drive” to his credit.

Before I share with you some of the favorite photos of David Lynch as well as works that caught my eye, let me first show you some  scenes in yesterday’s Paris Photo.

Ambling  for hours on end is too much for the legs so it is great to rest once in a while.

In one of my seat-breaks, I didn’t realize that I was sitting next to a legend – the French photographer Lucien Clergue!  Here, he is being interviewed by a journalist. I read later on Wiki that he was friend to Pablo Picasso for 30 years until the master’s death!  Oh my goodness, I could have easily asked for an autograph and a photo of us sitting together!

The Art Deco stairs of the Grand Palais.


The photobook stands..


A photographer taking his passion to the extreme – that of shooting a rubbish bin!

“Black Cosmo”, 2012 by Patrizia Guerresi Maimouna

Next:  David Lynch’s favorites….and mine

Salon de la Photo 2012

My most-awaited photo fair is on and as early as 10am Saturday, H and I were already inching our way through the entrance with our free invitation.  I just love going to this fair, lots of new things to learn, latest gadgets to discover and models to practice on!

This year’s visual (banner of the lady with the camera) get’s more and more interesting!

It’s the only place and the only fair in Paris where thousands of photographers – both amateurs and professionals – gather in one roof!

Shows like this one are organized to challenge the shutterbugs’ shooting techniques

Photo exhibitions for free

Undoubtedly a powerful lens but too big to take for a holiday!

And I get to learn some helpful tips just by listening to these free seminars!

Voila…an image I am so well proud of!