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  • Oliwia Koczorowska

Paris Photo 2023 Review

I guess I have been a good girl this year, as I was fortunate enough to gain Press Passes for the opening of Paris Photo 2023. 

For those, who have been living under a rock, and have never come across this spectacular event, taking place annually in the heart of Paris, let me enlighten you. Paris Photo is the biggest in the world photography fair. 

It is literally heaven on earth for art collectors, artists, photographers, or even just photo lovers. But it is not all about photography - there is much to do and explore within the space dedicated to photography. Some of the things that you might be able to take part in are the following:

Artists’ debuts, book premieres, talks and lectures, thousands of photographs to explore, and a chance to meet huge photographers such as Alex Webb, Todd Hido, Juergen Teller, or Martin Parr, who are just a couple of names who are regulars at the spectacular event in Paris. In short, the Paris Photo Fair brings you back to the basics. Back to the origins of photography, and opens up many doors for networking and inspiration. 

Photo Taken By Oliwia Koczorowska
Photo Taken By Oliwia Koczorowska

Typically taking place at the Grand Palais, Paris Photo 2023 was sadly moved from that iconic building due to refurbishment in preparation for the 2024 Olympics taking place in Paris next year. 

As a result, this year's event took place at the Grand Palais Ephemere, just opposite the Eiffel Tower, between 9-12 November. Don’t get me wrong, Grand Palais Ephemere itself is also a beautiful, historic building, which allows you to transport yourself to an artistic wonderland, for a couple of hours exploring the photography displayed within its walls. 

However, at the end of the day, it was not the Grand Palais. 

As soon as I entered the Grand Palais Ephemere, I was shocked. To be at a place, that consists of such amazing artwork, that I have been inspired by ever since I was a little girl, can truly be overwhelming.

To explore each gallery and booth with the same patience and focus is simply impossible to do so in one day. 

You see, the way that Paris Photo works is simple - there are all of the most prestigious art galleries from all over the world, such as The Hamiltons Gallery (London) or Gallery Fifty One (Belgium). Each gallery would have its own booth, separated by its own walls, where they display a different body of work. 

You would think that this is a sensible form of presentation and display of the artwork.

However, no matter how well the space is organised, it is simply too much to see in such a short amount of time! 

In terms of the photography itself, displayed between the walls of the galleries exhibiting at Paris Photo, today’s photography is all about being conceptual and delivering a creative documentary. From looking at the images, you can truly see all of the hard work put into the frame by the artist, even before releasing the shutter button.

In simpler words - you are not going to find a typical street or girl blogger photography in between these walls. This place is dedicated to art, and while art is a broad term while exploring these walls, you really do feel like you are in a place full of art.

What stood out to me at this year's Paris Photo were the images shot by Juergen Teller from the series “Go-Sees” photographed back in the 1990s, when fashion photography was at its peak.

These images presented many iconic models (such as literally baby Adriana Lima), before their massive fame, running around London for castings. 

In fact, the series was a preview of a massive exhibition of the artist, arriving at the Grand Palais Ephemere early next year, and you already know that I am going to fight like it is World War Three to get the tickets for that exhibition. 

It might have been my first ever Paris photo, but I already knew that it was a must-see event and I can’t wait to return there in the future.

 If you are ever lucky enough to go experience Paris Photo, seriously, drop everything and GO! 

You will not regret it, in fact, you are going to return inspired more than ever. 


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