ΟΖΟΝ was once more present at Paris Photo and for the 2017 edition we had the chance to sit down and discuss with the Athens and Thessaloniki based Kalfayan Galleries about art fairs, the future of fine art photography and of course artists!

Could you introduce us to the artists that you have selected for your stand this year? Are any of your artists presenting in Paris Photo for the first time?

At Paris Photo we presented a curated show themed on the disintegration of communication and knowledge through photography -especially in periods of crises and socio-political upheavals- examining issues of time, staging, truth and manipulation through the works of internationally acclaimed artists: Emeric Lhuisset (b.1983. Lives and works in Paris); Hrair Sarkissian (b. 1973, Damascus. Lives and works in London); Panos Tsagaris (b.1979, Athens. Lives and works in New York); for the first time we presented at the art fair works of Silvina Der Meguerditchian (b. 1967, Buenos Aires. Lives and works in Berlin) and of the Thessaloniki-based artist duo Kalos & Klio.

Is there a formula for choosing the artworks for an art fair that you follow every year? Do you make a selection depending on a concept or a long term strategy?

There is no ‘golden’ formula. Our choices are always based on the curatorial concept we want to present at each art fair which is always in direct dialogue with contemporary socio-political issues and art discourse.

Kalos&Klio
Equilibrists of Memory, 2016-2017
digital print on archival paper
70 x 50 cm
Courtesy the Artists and Kalfayan Galleries,
Athens – Thessaloniki

How important is it for a gallery to be part of an art fair?

For a gallery based in Greece, art fairs serve as a unique platform for presenting itself and the work of the artists represented in the international arena. Furthermore it is no exaggeration to say that in todays art market the art fairs in which a gallery participate lend prestige to the gallery and this has a direct impact to the artists career as well.

Panos Tsagaris
November 22 2016, 2017
gold leaf on archival inkjet print
150 x 90 cm
Courtesy the Artist and Kalfayan Galleries,
Athens – Thessaloniki

You have been participating in Paris Photo for many years now. Which is the biggest change you have seen in the fair this year in comparison to other years?

The most important change we have noticed about which we are very enthusiastic and supportive is the broadening of the art fairs spectrum to include artworks which demonstrate fresh and innovative ways of incorporating photography.

Silvina Der Meguerditchian
Families 3, 2017
laminated digital images of archive material,
wool
234 x 90 cm
Courtesy the Artist and Kalfayan Galleries,
Athens – Thessaloniki

Is there still interest in the up and coming market from collectors, or has the market become more conservative in the last few years? Do you as a gallery experience a growing interest in contemporary fine art photography?

The change at the art fair which I mentioned reflects the change of demand in the art market for Fine Art Photography, works of photographers but also works of artists who are using and re-interpreting photography as a medium. Characteristic example are the works of Silvina Der-Meguerditchian: intricate wall installations, resembling traditional Armenian carpets in dialogue with the vivid palette of embroideries and tapestries in Latin America, and featuring archival photographic material interweaved with wool, fragments of wires or unidentified electronic devices et al.

Emeric Lhuisset
Theater of War, 2012
lamda print
72 .5 x 120 cm
Courtesy the Artist and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens –
Thessaloniki

Hrair Sarkissian
Background, 2013
transparency in lightbox
180 x 227 cm
* Art project commissioner: Abraaj Capital
Courtesy the Artist and Kalfayan Galleries,
Athens – Thessaloniki

Words by: Nikolas Ventourakis