With a number of art fairs already under my belt and the law of diminishing marginal returns starting to kick in with a vengeance, I ventured into this year’s Pulse New York fair with decidedly low artistic expectations. My goal was to find some lesser known photographic gems worth highlighting, some pictures overlooked by the other fairs but worthy of some discussion. With the benefit of a few days of hindsight, I’d say my aspirations were admirable, but my results were mixed at best.
Pulse’s low ceilinged, warmly lit venue feels more easy going and comfortable than other fairs, but that friendly lack of edge and grit cuts both ways – unless you’re the ADAA, you need some plausible threat of risk taking to keep things lively. My trip though the booths here left me with the conclusion that this was a show that was genuinely trying hard to be relevant and had lots of experiments going on, but just couldn’t deliver the consistent quality yet, at least photographically, to hold my interest for long. Put another way, there was more photographic chaff than wheat on view here (sorry Moby), with only a few ideas that made me think twice.
The slideshow below follows my winding path through the fair, with each image captioned by a linked gallery/venue name, the artist/photographer’s name, some relevant description/commentary, and a price as appropriate.