Sunday, 16 October 2011

Frieze Art Fair - London - Oct-2011

I went to the Frieze Art Fair this year. I thought it would be nice to see art from contemporary artists which can be stimulating and enjoyable because of its creativity, beauty, or shock-value. Although I did find some pieces I enjoyed seeing, the impression which overwhelmed me is that the vast majority of the work there is crap, real trash. I kept on thinking: in 100 years, which one of these "art works" will be remembered and preserved? Over the next 100 years, most of the pieces will find their way into a junkyard. In fact, today, it is already hard to distinguish much of the "art" from trash.

In addition to the trash category, on display, I did see other items, at the other end of the spectrum, which also had no claim to being art: A boat, a luxury boat, (a motor yacht), was on display, An Aquariva Cento, in the middle of the art fair, as an art object!! This artist named Christian Jankowski claims that it is his work of art to display the boat as an art object. Jesus! It is so pathetic. The guy had nothing to do with either the designing or the building of the yacht! I understand that many luxury items are beautiful and (sort of) works of art.  But I myself can become an artist simply by putting them on display at an art gallery? I also understand that taking ordinary objects and displaying them as art can serve a useful purpose of stimulating thought, making us look at them differently, making us question what is art, etc. But this was done already about 100 years ago by Marcel Duchamp with his toilet (or "Fountain").

Some of the works at the art fair which DO have some artist value are as follows:

Ashley Bickerton's Red Scooter Nocturne

Rodrigo Torres' series "Uns Trocados". A set of 12 of them sold at the fair for usd 25,000. This "art" is clever, creative, and cute, but kind of overpriced. It is quite hard to see and appreciate this work from the online photos because there is a 3-dimensional aspect to the work.

Chuck Close - This piece, "Joel", on display at the Frieze Art Fair is gigantic. So its more interesting to see "in person". Priced at $5 million and attracted two reserves.

Mustafa Hulusi

Laurie Simmons' Love Doll Series

Kenny Scharf's Madgladtree (which I would like to buy for my garden)

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