PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco Attracts Key Collectors and Curators To Their Inaugural US Edition in San Francisco
The fair's success confirms San Francisco's identity as an international destination for the collection of fine art photography.
– Alexander Montague-Sparey, Artistic Director, PHOTOFAIRS –
San Francisco, CA, January 31, 2017: PHOTOFAIRS drew 11,000 visitors, collectors, and curators to their inaugural opening at Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion, situated on the San Francisco Bay, overlooking the Marin Headlands. Complementing the Bay Area’s already strong photographic legacy, PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco’s international selection of galleries and artists, representing 14 countries and 22 cities worldwide, created an atmosphere of strong sales and lively conversations throughout the 4-day event amongst visitors to the Bay Area’s only fair exclusively focused on the photographic arts.
Drawing on the international reach of the majority of participating galleries, PHOTOFAIRS boutique curation brought together vintage and blue-chip works alongside cutting-edge contemporary photography, creating an excellent environment in which to discover and collect new works of art. “There was a great response to the Chinese artists we brought to the fair and collectors saw the value, creativity, and artistry of their work,” Steven Harris, M97 Gallery (Shanghai). “For me, this is a sign of real understanding and appreciation of the photographic arts.” Noted Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery (New York), 'We felt the fair was extremely successful - placing works with an entirely new clientele, including multiple photographs by Sohei Nishino, in addition to works by Robert Currie and Yorgo Alexopoulos. We see great promise for the fair moving forward!.”
In addition to the works for sale, collectors experienced a breadth of quality contemporary cutting-edge photography emphasized across many of the fair’s public talks, installations by LEAP and XITEK, and the acclaimed Insights exhibition offering unique (non-editioned) works for private sale, and co-curated by Alexander Montague-Sparey, Artistic Director, PHOTOFAIRS and Allie Haeusslein, Associate Director, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco. "I am honored to have been able to participate in the inaugural edition of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco as co-curator of Insights,” states Haeusslein. “The outpouring of support from local collectors, curators, and photographers in attendance is a strong testament to the strength of our community here in the Bay Area."
PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco’s inaugural Collectors Preview on Thursday, January 26th began with private collector tours of the galleries, followed by an invitation-only preview reception where guests enjoyed drinks provided by Banshee Wines, décor by Birch + Tailor and casual edibles by renowned Russian Hill restaurant Stone’s Throw. “With this inaugural edition of PHOTOFAIRS | San Francisco, we welcomed new buyers and seasoned collectors alike, from a variety of influential Bay Area communities,” Sarah Shepard, PHOTOFAIRS’ San Francisco-based manager. “The response to the scope and quality of the photography presented by both the national and international participating galleries, many of whom brought new works and artists never before exhibited on the West Coast, was overwhelmingly positive.” Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and new collector, Ruzwana Bashir, Founder of Peek.com, notes, "This is just what San Francisco needs: an inviting environment to experience and engage with a distinctive, global selection of galleries and expertly curated collectable photography."
Among the distinguished guests in attendance throughout the fair’s inaugural weekend were: Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Nion McEvoy, Peter MacGill, Bonnie Raitt, Kelly Sultan, Ed and Deanna Templeton, Trevor Traina, Julian Cox, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Jim Ganz, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Virginia Heckert, J. Paul Getty, Sandra Phillips, SFMOMA, Erin O'Toole, SFMOMA, Corey Keller, SFMOMA, Deborah and Andy Rappaport, Minnesota Street Project, Jordan Kurland, NoisePop, Rose Andreisma, Unseen, and Gordon Knox, SFAI President.
Distinguished artists included: Jim Campbell, John Chiara, Christine Elfman, Paul Graham, Alejandro Guijarro, Todd Hido, Mona Kuhn, Chris McCaw, Sean McFarland, Klea McKenna, Jacquline Norheim, Meghann Riepenhoff, Kate Stone, Rodrigo Valenzuela and Noah Wilson.
Private VIP tours of Bay Area Museums included, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s new Pritzker Center for Photography, featuring diane arbus: in the beginning and Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now; de Young Museum exhibition tour of Danny Lyon: Message to the Future, led by Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography and Chief Curator; a private viewing of the Ed Ruscha Archive at the Legion of Honor with Karin Breuer, Curator in Charge of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and Julian Cox. Further VIP events included visits to Pier 24 Photography to see the exhibition Collected with an introduction by Associate Director, Allie Haeusslein; a behind-the-scenes tour with Wattis Institute curators at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art; an intimate talk with Insights artist Christine Elfman at Gallery Wendi Norris. Artist studio visits included a visit to contemporary artist Jim Campbell’s studio, as well as visits to Sean McFarland, Erica Deeman and Klea McKenna studios at Minnesota Street Project, plus a private collection visit at the home of Contemporary African Art
collectors Diane and Charles Frankel. Children were entertained during select weekend hours with Urban Photo Safari, enabling parents to view the fair’s offerings as their children learned about photography.