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The first-ever edition of PHOTOFAIRS New York makes its debut at the Javits Center from September 8 to 10, featuring a landscape of photo-based and digital art seen across booth presentations, special projects, large-scale installations, and more. Under the direction of Helen Toomer and made possible by Creo, Angus Montgomery Arts, and Candlestar, the fair showcases up-and-coming photographers and renowned names alike, in a thoughtfully-curated selection featuring exhibitors from over 20 international cities.
“We are so excited to bring together such a variety of organizations and artists, offering an expansive and forward-thinking view of photography and image-making,” said Toomer. “Our exhibitors and partners are truly invested in the new platform that PHOTOFAIRS New York provides for their programs and their artists, and we are looking forward to our first of many annual convenings.”
Over a third of the fair’s presentations will take the form of solo shows, including highlights like photos, prints, and videos by Adama Delphine Fawundu, presented by HESSE FLATOW, Nil Gallery bringing the work of Ghanaian artist Caleb Kwarteng Prah, The Fridge presenting the first public showing of portraits from Katsu Naito’s series “Once in Harlem,” photographs and installations by Maleonn on view with Shun Art Gallery, and more.
Meanwhile, the inaugural edition of the fair will shine a spotlight on artists working at the intersection of photography and other mediums, seen in solo and multi-artist presentations like large-scale Polaroid emulsion lifts by Rhiannon Adams, on view with Elijah Wheat, Delphine Diallo’s crossover between portraiture and collage, presented by Fisheye Gallery, and Robert Mann Gallery sharing the work of artists like Cig Harvey, Jane Waggoner Deschner, and Ana Teresa Barboza, selected for their practices combining photography with techniques found in historical fiber-working.
The exploration of intersectional photographic practices expands to include a focus on those working with digital art and new media, including tools like AI, AR, and other algorithm-generated technologies. Presentations exploring these new-age avenues include those like “The Path” presented by Postmasters Gallery, featuring Kenny Dunkan, Damjanski, and Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, the work of Marina Zurkow, Quayola, and LaJuné McMillian looking at themes of identity, representation, and environment with bitforms, and a look at the mythology of self through augmented reality, conceived by Huntrezz Janos and presented by TRANSFER.
Outside of the booth presentations, fairgoers will find the fair filled with other special projects and exhibitions. Standout special projects you don’t want to miss include Fotografiska’s presentation of Cara Romero, work by For Freedoms Fellows working in photography, and an exhibition of video works curated by Tiana Webb Evans entitled “Memories Don’t Leave Like People Do,” on view with Jamaica Art Society. Concurrently, activating various spaces around the Javits Center are installations like Daniel Rozin’s interactive engineering project RGB Lights Mirror, presented with bitforms, Robert Mann Gallery’s site-specific animation experience by Sayler/Morris, and Tiffany Smith’s movable photo installation inviting patrons to get their portrait taken, presented by TERN Gallery.
Also of note is the fair’s conversation series, which invites attendees to observe dialogue between leaders from the photography space, featuring entities like the Center for Photography at Woodstock, International Center of Photography, Jamaica Art Society, Artwrld, Dear Dave, Magazine, and Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York. Last, but not least, the fair will also encompass the annual 21c Acquisition Prize, awarded by 21c Co-Founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. The prize selects work by one of the fair’s exhibiting artists to join the 21c Collection, chosen by Brown, Wilson, and Alice Stites.
“21c seeks to support today’s most dynamic artists, working in a wide range of media and addressing the pressing issues of our time,” said Stites. “We are excited about discovering visionary artists working in innovative photographic and digital media at the inaugural edition of PHOTOFAIRS New York and expanding the collection further through the establishment of the 21c Acquisition Prize.”