New York Photo Festival 2008

Reviewed by Mary Goodwin

Issue 2

Just returned from my first visit to the NYPF, and I can't beat around the bush: this is one fantastic event. Everything about it fresh, elegant, sophisticated, and quite simply, a pleasure. When I entered the powerhouse Arena to buy my ticket ($20) the first person I saw was David Byrne ( After that celeb-u-spot, it was on to the real stars of the show: the amazing photographs on display over multiple venues.

There is so much here, it's only possible to list a couple of favorites: Jan Kempenaer's odd, heavy, and beautiful images of communist structures in former Yugoslavia (New Typologies, curated by Martin Parr); Joachim Schmid's cut-strip compositions, with their intriguing mixture of a coy, quasi-technological feel and good old fashioned cut-and-paste technique (The Ubiquitous Image, curated by Lesley A. Martin); the whole room of gems at Various Photographs, curated by Tim Barber. I will say no more - get thee to the show and pick your own favorites.

Topped off the afternoon by attending Simon Norfolk's talk. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, make sure you atten - he weaves together the many interests that influence his work with plenty of wit to make it entertaining. In addition to Norfolk, the festival also invited Donovan Wylie, Curtis Mann, and Roger Ballen, among many others, to give presentations.

There was so much to explore and enjoy, I was worn out after five hours and hadn't even made it through the Chisel show curated by New York Times Magazine Photo Editor Kathy Ryan. Good thing my pass is also good for tomorrow, cause I am definitely going back on Sunday, and hopefully to the next NYPF, whenever that takes place. Congratulations to all the curators, organizers, and staff. You're off to a great start.