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Omar Victor Diop, Allegoria 3, 2021, Pigment Inkjet on paper, 80 x 121 cm
Omar Victor Diop, Allegoria 3, 2021, Pigment Inkjet on paper, 80 x 121 cm   -   Copyright  Omar Victor Diop. MAGNIN-A

Paris Photo: key international photo fair welcomes visitors in person and online

The Grand Palais Ephémère in Paris is packed with visitors these days as it welcomes the 24th edition of Paris Photo, the leading international fair dedicated to photography.

For five days, photography and art lovers, collectors and industry professionals are navigating a sea of almost 200 galleries and art book dealers.

After the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, this year it felt even more crowded than usual.

An art collector in Chicago at the event said it was because "we are all thirsty for art, we all want to touch it again."

Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
A visitor looks at the works of Cig Harvey exhibited at Robert Mann Gallery booth at Paris Photo. Paris, France, 2021.Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Busy days at the Grand Palais Ephémère during the 24th edition of the Paris Photo Fair. Paris, France, 2021Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews

Navigating the fair has always been an exciting and slightly challenging adventure: it’s almost too overwhelming - trying to take all these paths that the artists are inviting us on, often in entirely different universes.

Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
A visitor is shown through the art work "We can't live - Without Each Other, 2019" by Karolina Wojtas at Paris Photo. Paris, France, 2021Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Sabine Weiss / Courtesy Les Douches la Galerie, Paris.
Sabine Weiss, Félix Labisse, painter and decorator, Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1952, Gelatin silver print, made by the artist, 30 x 40 cmSabine Weiss / Courtesy Les Douches la Galerie, Paris.

This year we wander between the works of Anna Atkins, a 19th-century botanist widely considered to be the first woman to create a photograph, and the works of hundreds of outstanding contemporary artists who more often than not produce innovative, multi-layered work in mixed techniques.

For many of them, photography is often only one of the multiple tools used in an artistic journey of creating a piece. Painting, embroidering on the photograph as well as printing the image on rather unusual materials seems increasingly popular among gallerists.

Joana Choumali. LOFT ART
Joana Choumali, The day you stop racing, 2021, Embroidery on digital photograph printed on canvas, 35 x 35 cmJoana Choumali. LOFT ART
Lucia Tallova, courtesy Galerie Paris-Beijing. PARIS-BEIJING
Lucia Tallova, Paris Diary, 2019, Collage and painting on paper, 40 x 30 cmLucia Tallova, courtesy Galerie Paris-Beijing. PARIS-BEIJING
Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews
Sabine Weiss during her book signing session at Paris Photo in Paris, France, 2021Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews

Visiting the fair is not cheap - a 30 euro ticket will grant you access for one day.

Once you are in, there is more to it than the exhibited photo work, you are invited to participate in discussions with the artists, sign photo books and exchange a few words with stars as big as Sabine Weiss, Raymond Depardon, Susan Meiselas and hundreds of others.

The schedule is tight but it’s impossible to leave as "the same you". The inspiration you get at the event will stay with you for a long time having a great potential to change the way you view the world.

Florent Drillon
A facade of Grand Palais Ephémère, a temporary exhibition hall in the Champ de Mars that hosts Paris Photo and other exhibitions while the Grand Palais is being renovated.Florent Drillon

The fair is open till Sunday evening, but if you are not lucky enough to be in Paris these days, the fair offers you access to many of its galleries and events online (accessible at the Paris Photo Fair website via registration).

Tuning in is free of charge and free of crowds but offers a lot to discover.