Once a year the art crowd flocks to London for the ‘London Fashion Week’ for galleries, collectors, artists and nobobodies like me, who take an interest in art. This is my second year of Frieze and I already feel much more comfortable with the process that comes with it: queuing in front of the wood-box-box-office, which looks like a bad installation in itself, getting into a chat with an artist, who is disappointed that I am not a millionaire-art collector and the ridiculous bag-search to make sure you don’t carry any black paint for spontaneous vandalizations.
But once you have splurged a week’s grocery shop on a ticket and entered the holy plastic tents, the fun starts. Endless gallery stalls with important names stretch along the neon-lit corridors and display everything and everybody that matters in art at the moment. You can get into a nauseated by the observation of a photo collage about a performance featuring mustard, ketchup sausages and a human penis (not photographed, because I am nice), be impressed by a Keith Haring -esque ‘monument’ (picture 2), gain some life-guidance (3) or soothe your eyes with the bluest of blue (4 and 5).
Apart from that, Frieze is also a good opportunity to do people-watching, especially if you’re into the hipster-gallerie owners/employees look. The stream of art-people has a rather high-concentration of well-dressed people that are more wearable than the outlandish styles of the Fashion-Week. It is generally a little bit more down-to earth with children running around and a Nintendo Gamer corner for the (big and small) boys. Some of the art-works actually seem to be quite successful among the youngsters. I saw a toddler getting really excited about the “sparkly balls” in this installation and no one seemed to mind that he ran around them.
but maybe you don’t want your kids to get “too inspired”, especially if you are fond of your musical instruments…
or your glass-topped coffee table…
and the also take care to keep their visitors well-nourished. I got a piece of this gigantic Mortadella sausage in the course of the Frieze project “Harvest Farm”. At £20 a ticket it was probably the most expensive piece of meat I ever bought but hey, I got an artwork from Frieze!
For many artists Frieze is a great way to keep track of their colleague’s work and get some inspiration for their artistic development. I think this can apply to casual visitors as too. I really liked this ‘shelf’ although I am not sure if the artist intended its use that way.
Sometimes I get inspired to try something new like rearranging my pictures at home…
or building a house around a tree.
It’s always interested to discover ‘new’ talent (most of the artists are already quite established but as I am not an expert there’s always something new). The tragic this is that the vast Frieze universe is too overwhelming for me to actually take notes of the artists behind of these fantastic pieces, but maybe you can tell me?
After 3,5 hours I leave very happy with a heavy bag stuffed with (free) art magazines and head to the sculpture park to use up that last bit of my maxed-out attention span.