Sunday, March 20, 2011


Pablo Picasso by Irving Penn
Association of International Photography Art Dealers show in NYC at the Armory is always a favorite of mine.  Classic photography as well as Contemporary and edgy work fill the space.  Happy to see there were sales going on and red dots on some walls. A good sign.  Interesting to see the display and framing options as well.

Wonderfully exuberant was Richard Avedon’s double portrait of the poets Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, naked and arm in arm, at Eric Franck. More brooding artist work was Robert Mapplethorpe’s 1976 shot of a young Patti Smith (at Contemporary Works/Vintage Works), grasping a radiator as she sits on a bare apartment floor.

Classic 20th-century images by the likes of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Berenice Abbott and Andre Kertesz were my real reason for seeing the show. The front-and-center booth of Edwynn Houk had a nicely balanced selection that includes Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand and Man Ray, as well as some more recent work by Stephen Shore and Bruce Davidson.

Alec Soth

 How do you decide what to collect?  What you love instantly on first sight, or what you feel will have long term value?  Trends or classics?   Some ideas to help you collect:

    • 1
      Understand the art photography process. A photographer achieves a compelling shot by shooting an engaging subject using proper lighting in the best environment. The photographer then creates either a photographic print or a digital photographic print.
    • 2
      Establish price guidelines for your collection. Decide whether to collect fewer, more valuable pieces or develop a larger collection of less-expensive pieces. Your interest in subject matter or specific artist may help to set this level. More established artists' work will demand a larger investment.
    • 3
      Choose a style or photographer. Many collectors of fine art photography are drawn to a specific subject or the style of a certain photographer. Once you find a piece that you're interested in, ask the photographer about the photograph. Ask if there's a story behind it, or what connected the artist to the subject at that moment. Sometimes you're fortunate enough to speak with the artist one-on-one. At other times, you'll need to depend on phone calls or e-mails. Knowing more about the piece will give it value to you--both personally and financially.
    • 4
      Choose which piece to invest in, and make the purchase.
    • 5
      Care for your art.  Place your prints in a frame that has museum glass.  Use a acid free mat for protection and to enhance the presentation.
    • 6
      Add more pieces over time at a rate that your budget can tolerate.

2.     Go to lots of Art shows, Galleries, local Art Associations, art and photography web portfolios and look at Art - including but not exclusively showing photography.  Define your taste.  Read about photography and keep looking at images.  COLOR and B&W magazines for fine art photography is another good choice for a review of  contemporary photography. Decide if you like color or toned and B&W photography, classic or contemporary. Find a photographer you like and follow her work. AND start collecting.