Yes, they've heard the horror stories about how challenging it can be to start a successful or just sustainable art fair here. But the organizers of Paris Photo, widely considered the leading photography fair abroad, have decided to hold their first-ever U.S. fair in Los Angeles.
In the tradition of international art fairs that confound geography (Art Basel Miami Beach, anyone?), the new event will be called Paris Photo L.A. It will take place next April 24-28. And, in a bid to make the art fair a more dramatic event, it will not set up shop in a familiar venue like the convention center downtown or Santa Monica's Barker Hangar but on the lot of Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
“Paramount is a good balance for us between history and a chance to invent our own format. We could use a soundstage, outside space, maybe some specific sets that they have available,” said Julien Frydman, the fair's director, who spent several months looking for an accessible and also memorable venue. “But it’s important to understand this is not a tribute to cinema but a way of looking at how other artists are using images.”
He described “many factors" behind choosing L.A. as the new location, including the rich tradition of conceptual artists here experimenting with photography, a number of serious photography collectors in town and institutional interest in the medium (he named the Getty, LACMA and MOCA). It’s an easy trip for members of the San Francisco photo community.