Last weekend, the well-known Art Fair Frieze set up its tents (and a gigantic wood cubicle) in Regent’s Park. Over 170 galleries from all over the world participated and exhibited and along buyers art students, art-related subject students, people, who like the idea of being interested in art, rich girlies, who try to follow their art collector-parents footsteps and so on walked along the endless lines of art gallery stalls. Gallery-owners and their assistants were busy eating sushi from Tesco behind their Apple Computers, while casually ignoring the less-well financially funded ‘window shoppers’. Somewhere in between a blonde girl (me) tried to snap pictures with her mobile phone not knowing that upon coming home she would have to find out that her usb-connect-cable has gone missing.
I like art, especially modern and contemporary art. I know that being art-interested is a cliché and no ‘cultured’ person or hipster would want to be caught not being interested in art but I swear it is not pretentious in my case. I started going to museums and galleries at the age of 15. If you’re not a celebrity’s or artists’ daughter this is an age where this leisure activity isn’t necessarily considered cool. I’ve been to many exhibitions and I was very much looking forward to Frieze.
An Art Fair like Art Frieze gives you the possibility to browse a large number of galleries from all over the world and therefore saves you a lot traveling (costs). This is also the way you have to look at the ticket price, which is even with a discount not tailor-made for students. But if you’re into art it’s probably better to get used to breathtaking sums, anyway.
[portrayed in an artoon from the art newspaper]
Gerhard Richter’s hyperrealistic painting “Kerze” (Candle) for example was just sold at Christie’s for 9.3 m pounds. I have to admit it can sometimes be a frustrating to look at works of art you would love to see in your (imaginary) loft, but you know that you’ll never be able to afford. But there’s another side too: going to galleries and looking at sculptures and architecture is usually free and in London most museums are free.Visual Art is actually very accessible and with the emerge of performance and concept-art it is doubtable if possession will bring you closer to Art.
Nevertheless, the investment in a Frieze Ticket definitely paid off. From a very interesting floating silverware (in 2D and 3D) installation to a “cartas al cielo” (letters to heaven/sky) box and an engaging installation, in which you had to use your smartphone camera’s phone camera to discover the actual message there was plenty of inspiration to take home and to indulge in the crazy world of art. One gallery built itself a little house and I also saw quite a few works that included mirrors. (are we going to reflect even more on our own images?).
Noticeable was the interaction with the written word, which appeared in many works. I love that combination, even though it bear a risk of getting too close to being just commercial and plain.
An particularly amusing were the black signs, revealing our secret wishes we may have – completely out of conteext
“This sign has seen you coming”
“ideally behind this wall be a hot spring with beautiful naked women swimming”
“Ideally here a blast of fresh sea wind would surround you”
This random aspect of art, that is probably not meant to be really understood is something I enjoy the most. I always hear people complaining about not understanding contemporary art but I think they just miss the most important the point. Saatchi (famous british art collector) probably shares my view on this. In his book he says that he used to read so much about an artist and his work that he ended up knowing more than the artists gallery then he stopped and just looked at picture catalogues. That’s also why I think these know-all or pretend-to-know-all freaks are so annoying. You can’t take out the emotion of art, you can’t rate good and bad art. If you look at something you like or not. Sometimes knowing more about a piece might change your mind, but I think this is rather unlikely.