After three yearly takeovers of Paramount Studios, the French organizers of Paris Photo L.A. have decided that the art fair won't cut it in Los Angeles anymore. The fair, a high-brow photography-focused art buyers expo, was supposed to take place at the end of April 2016 on Paramount's faux-NYC studio backlot. Its producers, who also planned to bring their annual FIAC Art Fair to Los Angeles for the first time this year, have scrapped both fairs, citing a lack of sales here in LA. At first glance, this might seem disappointing. Two major international art fairs took a chance on LA's art scene and couldn't financially prevail. This does perpetuate a storied assumption that Los Angeles is a place best suited for making art, and not as much for exhibiting or selling art.
But last weekend's LA Art Book Fair, with tremendous sales and a record attendance of over 40,000, negates that assumption completely. Alongside many successful approachable events, the Art Book Fair proved that art sells very well here - even if it's from elsewhere (the Art Book Fair hails from NYC) - when it's accessible to the public and its offerings are reasonably priced. Perhaps Paris Photo L.A.'s demise is actually a victory for Los Angeles arts; a reality check that LA's art scene isn't made for art buying aimed at only the utmost wealthy. •