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Keeping an Eye on Paris Photo

 Steven ArnoldMetamorphisis Detoxx Busti-ae by Erica SimoneMetamorphisis Detoxx Busti-ae by Erica SimoneVee SpeersVee SpeersMarion GronierMarion GronierGérard MusyLuisotti at the Barbara Kasten Gallery Luisotti at the Barbara Kasten Gallery Roman VishniacRoman Vishniac

Every other year, Paris celebrates “Mois de la Photo.” This happens to be an ON year and that’s a ‘turn on’ for ‘photophiles’ like me.

The photo bug caught me in the late 1980s when I met the charismatic artist/photographer, Steven Arnold and became acquainted with his whimsical ‘baroques tableaux.’ He was a kind of ‘Christ-like’ character whose friends considered themselves “disciples” and who exemplified the difference between a true artist and one who only thinks of himself as an artist. (The real one ‘channels’ the work, almost like a medium channels a spirit, while the other uses his skills/crafts and intellectualizes it to create his art.)


Sadly Steven Arnold died just before we moved to Paris in August of 1994, after a 10-year battle with AIDS, but not before having collected over 20 of his beautiful images that adorn my bedroom walls to this day. His artistic spirit is alive and well sparking a continued interest in photography on a daily basis. 

It is no wonder that my daughter, Erica Simone, chose to hone her own skills as a photographic artist having been surrounded by the photographic works themselves and many of the artists who created them who became our friends. She’s now writing an occasional blog post about photography in the Huffington Post. Last week’s entry “Metamorphosis — Steven Rose to Detoxx Busti-ae” has already had over 26,000 views!

When Mois de la Photo rolls around and the annual Paris Photo fair opens its doors, I revel in the season when everyone can enjoy so much talent out there — the work that has been done in the past as well as the work being done in the present. There are exhibitions galore, in the museums and the galleries and there is the fair itself, which begins this coming Thursday at the Grand Palais (November 13-16).

Paris Photo will host 169 galleries from around the world plus art book publishers and dealers. Friends from the U.S. photo art world descend every year for this special fair and the week gets charged with exciting events. Exhibitions not to miss inside or outside of Paris Photo are:

Vee Speers is a long-time resident of Paris, of Australian origin, whose work has stolen my heart and utmost admiration. Don’t miss her latest collection titled “Bulletproof” on display at Paris Photo at the School Gallery Paris/Olivier Castaing, but you can also see more of it at the gallery space at 322 rue Saint Martin, 75003 Paris. Marion Gronier, a neighbor of ours residing at the Place des Vosges, whose works titled “Les Glorieux” won the 2012 BMW Residency and were on full display at last year’s Paris Photo, has four photos from her newest project “on display at the BMW stand — portraits of Pennsylvania Mennonites. You will find these portraits arresting.

Gérard Musy, a resident in my own building who I often see transporting framed works in and out, is presenting his newest works titled “Kaleidoscope Cornucopia” opening Wednesday evening, November 13th, at the Pop-Up gallery Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, 16 rue du Perche, 75003.

Theresa Luisotti, of Gallery Luisotti, and I once held photo exhibitions in my own Los Angeles home, long before she became one of the city’s most important dealers and book publishers. Luisotti “concentrates on the aesthetic developments that emerged during the 1970s with an emphasis on landscape and non-narrative photography, centering itself thematically around the ‘New Topographics’ exhibition.” Her stand at Paris Photo is #3/Stage 27 and will display one of my favorite artist’s works — those of Barbara Kasten.

Be prepared when you visit Roman Vishniac’s “De Berlin à New York” exhibition at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsm. Not only are the photos amazing works in their own right, but the subject matter will move you to distraction. His images of the Jewish ghettos of Europe before and during the World War II years document a part of history we hope never to relive. This past August, “the International Center for Photography in New York City announced that all 9,000 of Vishniac’s photos, many never printed or published before, would be posted in an online database.” ( But don’t miss this heart-wrenching exhibition, on until January 25, 2015.

There’s simply too much to do and see in such a short time, much less write about it all. Do what I do…try to do it all! And, if you want to ‘keep an eye on’ Paris photography, the best site to stay tuned to is Lens Culture — “a global online magazine and platform celebrating current trends of contemporary photography in art, media, politics, commerce and popular culture worldwide.”

A la prochaine, 

Adrian Leeds, The Adrian Leeds Group - with Eria SimoneAdrian Leeds

The Adrian Leeds Group

(with Eria Simone)

Respond to Adrian


Brian DunhillP.S.
Join us at Parler Paris Après-Midi November 11, when our guest speaker is Brian Dunhill, AAMS, Founding Partner, Dunhill Financial. Brian will be speaking on “FACTA — How does it change financial planning as an American Expat?” Be sure to bring your questions! We meet from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. upstairs at Café de la Mairie (formerly La Pierre du Marais), on the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 3rd arrondissement. Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers. Costs nothing except whatever you drink! 

P.P.S. Take advantage of photographer Erica Simone’s offering of a selection of unique prints for sale, significantly discounted from gallery prices. All prints are quality archival, signed, artist proof C-prints, available first come, first serve. See all her offerings


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