Blame it on the camera-equipped smartphone — everyone is a photographer nowadays. But only a select few have the eye to transform the fast growing populist genre into fine art that stops viewers dead in their tracks to ponder composition, content and affect.
There's no question that Houston's affinity for photography roused a large crowd to pour into Spring Street Studios for the opening bash of the FotoFest 2014 Biennial Saturday. The collection of images by notable international talent filled the walls of the warehouse, offering artsy consumers a first look at the organizer's 15th show, themed "View From Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art," which runs through April 27.
Surely guest curator Karin Adrian von Roques and FotoFest founders Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss would love nothing more than to relive the moment.
Remarkable photographers such as Jerusalem-born Steve Sabella traveled from London and Khaled Hafez from Cairo to mingle with the who's who of the city's art cognoscenti, which included gallerists Anya Tish, Deborah Colton, Barbara Davis and Terry Hamman. Plus Contemporary Arts Museum Houston director Bill Arning and partner Mark McCray, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston photography curator Anne Wilkes Tucker, Houston Arts Alliance CEO Jonathon Glus and on and on.
Case in point: It was the trending affair of the weekend. Surely guest curator Karin Adrian von Roques and FotoFest founders Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss would love nothing more than to relive the moment.
Only major players — and there were many — enjoyed access to a party tent erected for the occasion. After noshing on a buffet catered by City Kitchen that dished up plates of chicken tagine, hummus and baba ganoush and the formalities of opening remarks, it was up to the exotic grooves of the Kinan Azmeh Quartet to liven up the ambiance.
Spotted in the crowd were Simone Anna Blumenthal, Moe Boughaba, Abdel Elkhadiri, Rudeina Baasiri, Steven Evans, David Klonkowski, Dania Dandashli, Wadih El Hajj, Wafa Abdin, Diane Barber and Karen Neimeier, Victoria and Marshal Lightman and Edge of Arabia artists Hamza Serafi and sisters Raja and Shadia Alem.