In the Gallery with Miranda Salt

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Established in Paris in 2018, Galerie Miranda aims to champion artists who are celebrated in their own country, but little known in Europe. Here, its founder shares her story

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Miranda Salt remembers her teenage aspirations. “When I was 15, I said to myself, ‘When I’m 25, I’m going to live in Paris,’ and that’s what I did.” In the summer of 1995, Salt bought a one-way ticket, embarking on a life-long adventure that would culminate in the opening of Galerie Miranda in 2018. Located in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, the gallery is dedicated to showcasing the work of established artists whose work is lesser known in Europe. This  includes photographers such as Merry Alpern, Peggy Anderson, Marina Berio, John Chiara, Laura Stevens, Terri Weifenbach, and Nancy Wilson-Pajic.

Salt got her start producing photography exhibitions for BETC, France’s largest creative agency. She worked as global communications director, with clients such as Harry Gruyaert, Alex MacLean, and World Press Photo. “[Producing exhibitions] was supposed to be two percent of my job, but I absolutely loved it and turned it into 50 percent of my job from around 2003,” she recalls happily. 

At the same time, she began collaborating with Michael Hoppen Gallery in London, Rose Gallery in Santa Monica, and Louise Alexander Gallery in Porto Cervo, Italy. Then, in 2007, she joined Magnum Photos in Paris as worldwide communications director. “It was incredibly stimulating having these three entry points to the photo world – commercial, editorial, and fine art,” says Salt. 

“There’s a confidence in my own taste that I might not have had 20 years ago. That’s the driving line behind what I produce: blue chip artists who are not known in France. Often, that happens to be women.”

A decade later, Salt knew it was time to strike out on her own. Moved by what she describes as “a very visceral desire”, in 2018 she opened her own gallery as a means to actualise complete autonomy and self-expression. Determining the artists for the gallery roster comes from a deeply personal place. “My mother was a very prominent feminist, so I grew up in a politically engaged family. She died when I was 13, but those values are in my structure,” says Salt. “I just turned 50, and I feel free in my choices and do what I want. There’s a confidence in my own taste that I might not have had 20 years ago. That’s the driving line behind what I produce: blue chip artists who are not known in France. Often, that happens to be women.”

Recognising that many women artists have not received the same exposure as their male counterparts, Salt understands the importance of using her gallery as a platform to support their work. At the same time, she applies those same principles to the work of male artists like Philippe Chancel, whose photographs of Afro Caribbean teens in 1980s Paris were included in the gallery’s recent exhibition, Rebels & Dandies. “I’ve never had a vision of feminism that excludes men,” says Salt.

© Philippe Chancel, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Miranda.
© Nancy Wilson Pajic, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Miranda.

For aspiring photographers looking for gallery representation, Salt advises artists to learn about the mission of the gallery to determine if and where they fit into the artist line up. Beyond medium and style, there is also the matter of where one is in their career. “I’m looking at established artists, and it’s very rare that I would pick up unsolicited work. It’s a huge investment to show an artist and these decisions are not taken lightly,” she says. “I like work that shines in a light in terms of intelligence and human values. I like work that speaks to my head and my heart at the same time.” 

Gérard Dalla Santa: Des Paysages Longtemp will be on view at Galerie Miranda from 03 September until 30 October 2021. 

Miss Rosen

Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer focusing on art, photography, and culture. Her work has been published in books by Arlene Gottfried, Allan Tannenbaum, and Harvey Stein, as well as magazines and websites including Time, Vogue, Aperture, Dazed, AnOther, and Vice, among others.