Talking Shop: Furthering art photography

A new arrival at Fashion Island is bringing a world of visuals to Newport Beach and allowing professional photographers to introduce their work to new audiences.

Sleek French art photography gallery YellowKorner offers limited-edition prints from photographers around the world, with a goal of democratizing art photography. Each high-quality print is numbered and supplied with a certificate of authenticity.

"After analyzing different options, Fashion Island seemed to be a perfect fit," YellowKorner gallery owner Melissa Geens said. "Not only it gives us a great exposure to open the first gallery on the West Coast, the public here matches our target customers. Lots of our visitors express their excitement when discovering the YellowKorner concept."

Prices at the revolving gallery range from $75 to $4,500, and sizing includes 8-by-12-inch, 10-by-15-inch, 24-by-36-inch and 40-by-60-inch options, as specified by the photographer.

"New photographs are added to the catalog every two weeks," Geens said. "We also change the display at the gallery every other week."

YellowKorner prints are created by a professional lab in Europe on a composite aluminum sheet, then covered in an anti-reflection UV-resistant film and hung with steel wire or hooks. A biography of the artist is placed on the back of each photograph.

"Art photography is usually very expensive," Geens said. "Here, we make it possible for a larger public to afford a piece of art while keeping a real high-end quality. We offer a wide variety of themes, styles and prices. Our prints are also limited-edition, and with close to 80 galleries spread over the world, you are pretty sure not to see your picture next door."

The gallery's selection is determined by a committee of 12 art photography experts in Paris, each of whom specializes in a different photographic trend. Along with expertise in historical photography, the team also works to discover young talent from around the world. Photographers who have been "discovered" through YellowKorner include Leo Caillard, Laurent Baheux, Kourtney Roy and Lee Jeffries.

"Our galleries are also meant to be meeting places where people can exchange ideas and enjoy art," Geens said. "So we'd like to organize signature events with our photographs and allow the community to participate."

New York photographer Richard Silver, who exhibits at YellowKorner locations around the world, said he first got to know the company from working with a similar gallery in Germany. From there, he submitted his work directly to Geens' group.

"YellowKorner knew my work ahead of time because of that affiliation, and we have been collaborating together for almost four years now," he said.

In his work, Silver employs a method called "tilt shift," whereby the camera lens is tilted and shifted from its normal position. The result is a miniaturization effect in which people and their surroundings almost look like miniature models.

"Traveling to many of the world's most iconic places, I use those familiar locations as a background for my photos," he said. "With so many of our customers having traveled to places like Hawaii, Brooklyn, Petra and Tokyo, it gives them a comfortable feeling when purchasing my photos."

This blend of familiar vistas and alien angles, caused by altered depth of field and perspective, creates a compelling image that also induces a bit of intriguing cognitive dissonance. Such techniques are encouraged by YellowKorner curators, who regularly seek out the best in new and established talent.

"For me, as an artist, they offer two extremely important things," Silver said. "First, they communicate with me, and second, [they provide] a tremendous amount of international exposure that no other company can compete with. Their business model gives them a unique position in the art world due to the variety of artists and pricing model."

Local photographers are welcome to submit their work for consideration to be included in the gallery, as well as other YellowKorner locations around the world. Photographers can send five photographs and a biography or curriculum vitae detailing their career, including background, exhibitions and publications, to artistes@yellowkorner.com.

YellowKorner

Address: 401 Newport Center Drive, Suite A203, Newport Beach

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays

Information: (949) 706-0415 or en.yellowkorner.com

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