Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower are Paris landmarks that draw thousands of tourists each day, but Michael Wolf has shunned the major sights to focus on an aspect of the city that even Paris natives rarely see — unless they are into parkour or pigeon fancying.
Paris Rooftops is the Hong Kong-based artist’s latest series, which continues his exploration of urban architecture and population density. Making a conscious decision to give the tourist traps a wide berth, Wolf was instead struck by the beauty of the skyline with its distinctively-shaped zinc roofs. This ability to find a fresh perspective on city life has proved fertile ground in photography series focused on Hong Kong’s high-rises, and Wolf’s gift for uncovering the oft-overlooked aspects of urban living has transferred seamlessly to the loftier areas of Paris. His keen sense of composition is evident as the tightly-packed verticals of pipes and window frames converge together with almost abstract effect, imbuing a disorientating closeness, while at the same time the images show the emptiness of these forgotten high reaches. Paris Rooftops is being exhibited at M97 in Shanghai until 31 May.