The second annual Paris Photo LA took place two weekends ago. Our hats are off to the folks who take on this incredible production, with 80 galleries in almost all of the sound stages and buildings of Paramount Studios for a mere 3 days. The best part of the show are the galleries tucked into the brownstones and shops on the "New York" back lot. The second 'brownstone' on the right was De Soto Gallery, featuring the work of the Parisian photographer Denis Darzacq.
The work is so striking, even before you discover that there is no photoshop or post effect used. Darzqcq's "La Chute" series actually captures 20 year-old Parisian kids in mid-air, who look like they're about to splat onto the pavement or are impossibly hurling horizontally down the street like a bullet. He was influenced and inspired by break dancers and hip hop in Paris in the '90's. Parkour, the dance-like chase through the streets (see the opening scene of CASINO ROYALE), had a similar genesis and owes some of it's soul to the violence that errupted (and continues to) in some of these neighborhoods.
"I hate this visual idea of Paris as a baguette or Catherine Deneuve carrying a bunch of flowers," Darzacq says. "That's why we lost the Olympics. I'd like us to be able to speak of modernity without blushing."
We raise a glass to modernity and to Darzacq. Bravo.