LOS ANGELES — I can't recall ever feeling excited just to be at an art fair, and yet that's exactly how many visitors felt at the opening of the inaugural Paris Photo L.A.fair yesterday. If the organizers were going to bring the 10-year-old Parisian fair to L.A., said director Julien Frydman, it had to be in a movie studio. And that's exactly what they did: The new event opened a Paramount Studios back lot to art-world gawkers.
Booths were housed either in one of several huge soundstages or, most excitingly, in “store fronts” on the Little New York set, which consists of several city streets reproduced for filming. Visitors strolled the fake streets, ate from food trucks parked along them, and basked in the sun between stops at galleries. The mood verged on the ecstatic; such was the surreal quality of the setting.
Happily, the quality of work on offer matched the inventiveness of the choice of location. Here are some highlights, in no particular order.