French artist Valérie Belin was born in 1964, and is currently based in Paris. Belin has been developing themes of disorder and chaos, creating works that are both visually and psychologically complex. Main concepts behind the All Star series exhibited at AIPAD examine stereotypes, psychology, and consumerism. Her photographic composites feature super-heroines in high-fashion settings with vintage comic book imagery. Through this unusual juxtaposition, Belin creates an alternate story. In 2015, Belin was awarded the Prix Pictet in 2015 for her work titled Disorder. She has exhibited in major institutions worldwide, including Centre Pompidou in Paris and New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.
I am happy to report that the newly installed edition of the Photography Show presented by the Association of Independent Photography Art Dealers at Pier 94 is quite spectacular. There were many, myself included, who were very attached to the idea of this reliable warhorse being held in the Park Avenue Armory. Something about the enclosed, cozy space was familiar and intimate. The idea of the Pier could have rendered it cold and impersonal. The good news is that the lightness and extra space actually gives the galleries and the work more room to breathe.
The displays have great contrapuntal rhythms, between past and present, between color and black-and-white, and among sensibilities guided by burning social consciences, the drive to experiment or a joyful embrace of the medium’s idiosyncratic possibilities. Sometimes all of this can be found in one eclectic presentation. At Edwynn Houk, one of Robert Frank’s insightful images of Americans shares walls with Lillian Bassman’s innovative fashion photography and Abelardo Morell’s playful new still lifes, notably a scene of domestic catastrophe created for the camera from plywood, a ceramic pitcher and a plethora of flowers.