Photo highlights of Art Market Budapest 2021, selected by the Capa Center’s professional guest, Brandei Estes, Head of Photographs at Sotheby’s London.
The Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center has been an exhibitor at Art Market Budapest since the center’s foundation. Albeit not a commercial gallery, as the central photography institutions of Hungary, it is our task and duty to promote the genre in the most diverse settings. Being present at a fair like Budapest’s major art expo consolidates our aim to support the exposure of artists by employing our infrastructural and other tools, and to augment the network with other actors in the art scene.
This year, the Capa Center had entered into a strengthened professional partnership with the fair, in which the Center presented two exhibitions and organized various professional events. One major such event was the invitation of the internationally renowned photography professional, Brandei Estes, Head of Photographs at Sotheby’s London to guide a tour at the fair with a focus on photography works and to select highlights of the genre. By bringing a high-profile expert we wished to enhance our founding aims of serving the needs and interests of photographers, enabling the entry and strengthening the positions of Hungarian photography in the international scene.
This was Brandei’s first time to visit Budapest and her first time to visit an art fair in the region. She has been excited to meet so many new photographers, gallerists, and professionals, and to discover new works. In order to bring focus to the fair’s Art Photo section, a section grouping together galleries focusing on photography at a designated area of the fair, Brandei was originally invited to guide a tour of Art Photo; however, as major galleries carrying photography works are still presenting at the main section of the fair, she was encouraged to check out all the booths at Art Market Budapest. As she later commented on it during her tour, she had enjoyed seeing photo-works shown among non-photo works in the main section, and, while she expressed her wish for the fair to get even more international in the future, she was happy to see the foreign photo galleries presenting works by artists that she has worked at Sotheby’s before. From her practice as an auction house professional and one with experience in what focus collectors may have when selecting pieces to buy, she helped contextualize the works on view: those walking through the fair with her had the opportunity to learn about the ways one can consider a photography work in the art market setting today, and, as she involved the exhibiting gallerists or artists present at their booths during the tour, she managed to create informative dialogs revealing histories of individual artists, works, and gallery-practices. She has found that the prices of works are reasonable and was delighted to see the display of a lot of young talent along with a lot of established artists.
Besides the tour, especially because her time was limited and couldn’t include everyone during her visit, Brandei made a selection of photography highlights from the many booths of the fair, picking both personal favorites and professionally relevant pieces.
List of Photo highlights selected by Brandei Estes (Sotheby’s) at Art Market Budapest 2021