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Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Darkroom Mirror Study (0X5A1563), 2017
Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Darkroom Mirror Study (0X5A1563), 2017Courtesy of Aperture Foundation

In Pictures: Isabella Burley’s Highlights from Paris Photo New York 2020

As the catalogue of Paris Photo New York 2020 goes online, Dazed’s editor-in-chief Isabella Burley shares her highlights – from Paul Mpagi Sepuya to Peter Funch

Lead ImagePaul Mpagi Sepuya, Darkroom Mirror Study (0X5A1563), 2017Courtesy of Aperture Foundation

This article is published as part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign:

Sadly, one of the cultural casualties of the coronavirus pandemic is the highly anticipated and very first edition of Paris Photo New York, which was due to take place this month. The good news, though, is that the full catalogue is now online, featuring beautiful and compelling photography from 173 galleries and publishers. Here, as part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign, championing culture in the age of social distancing, Dazed’s editor-in-chief Isabella Burley, shares her highlights – from an image from Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s Darkroom Mirror Study series to one from Peter Funch’s series where he photographed those who passed him by on the same corner in New York between 8:30 and 9:30am.

Aperture Foundation

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Darkroom Mirror Study (0X5A1563), 2017 (lead image)

“I first came across Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s work a few years ago and his Darkroom Mirror Study series is one of my favourites. As part of Condo in London early this year, he showed at Modern Art (in conjunction with team gallery in New York). I’m sad I missed it. I can’t wait to start physically experiencing exhibitions again. I think we don’t realise how lucky we were, and how much we took for granted.”

Tyler Mitchell, Untitled (Boy in Garden), Morocco, 2018

“This image brings me such joy! The colours, tones and shadows – it’s harmonious.”

Harper’s Books

David Wojnarowicz, In the Shadow of Former Motion, 1989

“Harper’s Books have the most incredible collection of rare artist’s books. It’s always been on my list to head upstate to Hudson and visit the store in person. In the Shadow of Former Motion, 1989, is one of David Wojnarowicz’s early xeroxed zines made for his 1989 show at PPOW. Reportedly only 50 copies were made (although here Harper’s say 150), so it’s incredible to see. Recently Primary Information released a facsimile copy (available here) so there is an interesting dialogue for me between the cult and much mythicised original and the reprint copy which will introduce this work to a whole new generation.”

Ryan McGinley, The Kids are Alright, 2000

“Another self-published artist book, but of course very different from Wojnarowicz. This body of work is a really strong reminder of the early 2000s generation of artists in New York (Dan Colen, Dash Snow et cetera) who were all self-publishing at the time. More than a zine, but not quite an art book, it felt like a really exciting time for image-making in America. It’s nice to see this cover again.”

Stephen Bulger

Deanna Pizzitelli, Mouth, I, 2018

“This makes me miss kissing! I wonder what kissing will be like post-corona?”


Sarah Lucas, Pepsi & Cocky #12, 2009

“I recently rewatched footage of Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin in the early 90s together when they set up ‘The Shop’ on Brick Lane so I’m feeling nostalgic for artists who really shaped the way I thought about the world when I was a teenager. Sarah Lucas was one of them. I was so excited to see her new show at Sadie Coles, which has of course been postponed, but it is available to view online! You can also watch Julian Simmons and Sarah Lucas’s TAPED UP, 2019 which documents a conversation between Sarah Lucas and renowned art critic Louisa Buck, filmed in the run-up to the Venice Biennale 2015. It’s insane!”


Donna-Lee Phillips, Thought Pieces, 1970: Photography by Lew Thomas, Donna-Lee Phillips and Hal Fischer

“I’m always excited to see what MACK is publishing next. I’m a big fan of Hal Fischer’s book Gay Semiotics: A Photographic Study of Visual Coding Among Homosexual Men from 1977 and of course a fan of Donna-Lee Phillips, so I can’t wait to see this book!”

Matthew Marks

Peter Hujar, Candy Darling on her Deathbed, 1974

“Such an important and powerful image. I remember seeing it in person at the Peter Hujar: Speed of Life exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York in 2018 and having goosebumps. There are very few words that can do this photograph justice.”


Viviane Sassen, Mimicry, 2019

“I love this piece by Viviane Sassen – the tactility of the hands on the sculpture feel really poignant at this time as we all miss human touch.”

Zen Foto

Koo Bohnchang, Clandestine Pursuit in the Long Afternoon, 2019

“A brilliant photo book by the Korean photographer Koo Bohnchang and published by the Tokyo-based Zen Foto. Capturing his personal experience of a politically turbulent Korea in the late 80s after returning from Germany, Bohnchang’s documentation comes from the place of a native outsider.”

Yancey Richardson

Mickalene Thomas, (if loving you is wrong) i don’t want to be right, 2006/2014

“So blown away by this image from Mickalene Thomas. Her photographic work often explores ideas around identity, race, sexuality – blurring the duality of the of Western painting aesthetics and the heavily sexualised blaxploitation films of the 70s. I would love to have this image at home.”


Joel Sternfeld, New York City (Rush Hour - First Pictures series), 1976

“This image makes me miss New York! The chaos of people, feeling the movement, the anxiety and excitement of rush hour!”


Yael Burstein, Kitchen, 2007

Yael Burstein is an Israeli artist who I’ve only just become familiar with and works with a lot of collage and mixed media as part of her process. I want to discover more!”


Peter Funch, 42nd and Vanderbilt (2012.06.22 08:53:02) & (2012.06.27 09:00:23), 2017 

“I didn’t discover this series until today, but for almost a decade Peter Funch photographed those who passed him by on the same corner in New York between 8:30 and 9:30am. The final works juxtapose glimpses of the same people as complete ‘portraits’ but the subtle differences question whether the images were taken days, weeks or even years apart. It’s like a strange spot the difference!”

View the Paris Photo New York 2020 catalogue here.