Photography Heavies Turned Out for Last Night’s Aperture Magazine Relaunch Party

Attendees of last night’s Aperture party were treated to a living history of New York photography, assuming they could see through the night’s tequila-fueled haze. Artists like Bruce Davidson and David Alan Harvey, who’ve been shooting since 35mm and darkrooms were the standard, seemed almost like elder statesmen to the younger, “digital, photography doesn’t require a camera” crowd.

Aperture, a non-profit, has been showing and printing photography for 60 years, and is somewhat of an industry flagship for photographers. They’re hoping the redesign of their magazine will broaden their audience by making the publication more accessible to those less-versed in the genre.

As such, the latest issue includes a lot more than traditional photography. Andrew Norman Wilson, whose digital images,“ScanOps,” are spread over eight pages of the magazine, spoke at length with ARTINFO about the state of photography, and where it’s going. “As a non-photographer, I’m excited to be a part of this and I’m excited that Aperture is allowing for a more interdisciplinary approach to photography,” he said. “You can have an image that’s a photograph, but you can also think about it in relation to sculpture, or you can think about it as something that’s performed, like an action.”

The more than 300 guests ranged from scenesters and dealers to artists of such esteem as Andres Serrano, who is currently working on a book about Cuba, and  Trevor Paglen, whose current project, The Last Pictures, is a collection of 100 images embedded into a satellite which will remain in space long beyond the existence of humanity..

Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors was on the turntables, while a slideshow of Aperture images was projected above the crowd. The piles of magazines that lined the entryway early in the evening disappeared without a trace, leaving at least a few guests with a first taste of Aperture’s dramatic reinvention.

— Sara Roffino

(Photo: Henny Garfunkel and Joshua Kristal; courtesy Aperture.)