Call me crazy but there is a certain kind of energy at big art events that I just love.
The work, the people, the glasses. Have you ever noticed what great shoes the art crowd tends to wear? I just eat it up.
So here I sit in the Russell Hotel in London recovering from the art fair whirlwind. My friend, Mary, calls this hotel a grand old dame. There's a song in Cats about it. It is looming and glooming with Victoriana weight and there are lots of Virginia Woolf ghosts drifting about.
I’ve taken up drifting as well (actually being from Los Angeles I guess I would call it cruising.) At the fairs, I glide along the halls and glance to and fro at the work. If something really catches my eye, I’ll pull over for a look. Otherwise I just let it all sort of stream past. Anything else is too heartbreaking -there is just too much to see. When it’s all over I like to see what sticks, what's caught my drift so to speak.
I’ve been to Pulse, Zoo and Frieze, as well as the Tate Modern, and I went out for Indian and coffee in Russell Square and a few cabbie rides.
Pulse was first. They were housed in the historic Mary Ward Center in Bloomsbury. It was a bit of a warren’s nest but the staff was extremely helpful in pointing out all the nooks. I saw Walter Maciel and Bank from Los Angeles and felt right at home. I got snagged by the work of Oliver Kropf, a young Austrian painter at Galerie Brunnhofer. Enigmatic, glowering landscapes filled with burning buildings, dead trees and Hang ‘Em High loners on horseback. Between the dark Austrian thing and the bad-boy western motif I am surprised I liked these paintings – but they were spectacular. (photo: Oliver Kropf)
Next day I went to Zoo and lined up with the waiting crowd. There was an audible hummm as we willed the doors to open. Zoo has relocated to a great spot just behind the Royal Academy of Art. Surrounded by Picadilly and Saville Row, it has everything - art, clothes, eateries and lots of Londony lookers in black on black. No where does it black like London.
At Zoo, I chatted with Chung King Project and fette (from fette's gallery) and Cherry and Martin and Happy Lion. Everyone was swamped with visitors and rearranging. Elad Lassry at Cherry and Martin and David Ellis at Roebling Hall were causing quite a stir – in fact both won prizes. I took a few pictures and wished I had more time. I met Kavi Gupta from Chicago who is a dynamo!
From there I made it up to the big top - Frieze in Regent’s Park. It was nice to get in amongst the greenery, and as usual, Frieze was anything but freezing. Body heat and art frenzy. I stopped by Acme, we talked about the Monique Prieto and Allison Miller work, and I said out loud that I love abstract painting. (In fact I decided that Cy Twombly is my new favorite oldie.) I saw so much and only just caught the tip of the iceberg.
Lastly, I raced down to the Tate Modern to see the Doris Salcedo installation, the giant crack running and splintering throughout the main floor. It made me miss L.A.
Now my eyes are red and I’m asking myself just how much art one can consume in a couple of days. I have to wait and see what sticks.
Bye for now - georgia
(Matthew, Francois, Fette at Chung King Project)