Three Art Fairs, Two Days, One Rather Long Weekend

This past week and weekend were loaded with different art things, and it was absolutely wonderful. On Friday we visited the Frieze Masters art fair, then headed to East London for an evening at The Other Art Fair, and finished on Saturday with a trip to the Frieze London. It was definitely a bit hectic, but there were a lot of really interesting and lovely pieces that I’m glad I got to see.

Heading in to the Frieze Masters on Friday I didn’t quite know what to expect. I knew there would be art ranging from Ancient Egyptian to Andy Warhol, but I was unprepared of the sheer scale of it. There were over a hundred galleries from around the world, interspersed with a few pop up restaurants and media spaces. It was oddly hushed as people moved through the spaces, looking at sculptures, oil paintings, and photographs. After taking a few minutes to get the lay of the land we stopped for lunch at the pop up restaurant Umu, and planned our route for the rest of the day. I think we ended up spending about five hours wandering through the galleries before heading over to the Other Art Fair.

The Other Art Fair was almost the exact opposite in feeling than the Frieze Masters. Rather than hushed conversations, the Other Art Fair featured music, lots of people talking between themselves and with the artists, and a conveniently located bar. Before entering we were asked if we wanted to participate in an interactive audio artwork which would lead un into the far itself. Of course I volunteered us to go, which turned out to be quite a bit of fun. I spoke with one of the artists for bit before I began, who said that they’d been commissioned by the Fair to make this work for the tenth anniversary.

Waiting at the bottom of a rather lengthy flight of stairs while blindfolded, wearing a set of headphones that were about to begin giving instruction was a bit unnerving, and I began to think I’d made a huge mistake. As other visitors walked normally up the steps, I listened to two disembodied voices tell me a bit about the fair, and give me a mission for once I was inside- to mark a piece of artwork, already purchased, with the pen that had been clipped to the top of the headphones. By the time I reached the top of the stairs and removed the blindfold I was unsure whether I would mark the work or not, but I was glad I’d participated in the work- it was like being in on a secret, and became a bit of a game between Cameron and I to imagine the different ways we could mark the work with no one noticing.

It was a lot of fun wandering through the different stations, talking to different artists about their work. There were many pieces we fell in love with (On of them is inserted below!) but settled on three which we purchased, and which I’m excited to find homes for on our walls.

One of our artworks!

“This is Awkward…” By Elena Garcia de la Fuente

Saturday was a bit more relaxed, although not once we arrived to the final fair of the weekend, the Frieze London. It was considerably more crowded that the Masters had been the day before. It was almost as if you’d melded the two art fairs from the previous day into one. We spend only a few hours at the Frieze, long enough to see almost all of it, but not quite enough to spend as long as I would’ve liked investigating a few of the artworks.

It was definitely a busy weekend, and Sunday was spent doing some much needed relaxing.

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