The buzz around a new artist doesn't usually reverberate much beyond a small circle of interested parties—collectors, critics, gallery owners, rivals, friends—but within that group it can be deafening. The buzz that photographer Deborah Mesa-Pelly is enjoying right now started long before her first solo show opened at Lombard-Freid this past weekend, when she was the hit of the gallery's booth at Art Forum Berlin in early October. And her timing couldn't be better. As the latest in a recent rush of women who work with constructed narratives (Anna Gaskell, Justine Kurland, Sarah Jones, Jenny Gage, Taryn Simon, et al.), Mesa-Pelly steps into an already brightly lit arena in a relentlessly booming market. It certainly helped that Mesa-Pelly's prices were quite affordable (a 30-by-40 color print was $1500 preshow; it's since gone up to $1800), but the buyers who snapped up half her show in the weeks leading to the opening were what gallerist Lea Freid calls "important collectors," not bargain hunters. Underlying the buzz is a whisper: Mesa-Pelly, they say, is on the short list for February's "Greater New York," the first P.S. 1-Museum of Modern Art collaboration under their premerger working agreement, a massive show of new local work that promises to rival the Whitney Biennial for art-world heat... More >>>