London is one of the world’s artistic hotspots. In certain parts of town, buildings seem full to bursting with painters, photographers, sculptors, performance artists, film-makers and installation artists (not to mention those working in other creative industries, nor the curators, writers, dealers, consultants, gallerists, agents and collectors operating in the capital). Yet despite this surfeit of talent, only a small percentage of London’s art work force is on show during the busiest time in the art world calendar, what’s come to be known as Frieze week.
VEGAS likes to think it has its finger pretty firmly on this city’s creative pulse, keeping tabs on who’s who and what’s what, and this show represents what and who we think is worth seeing. It is a show specially designed for those visiting London at this busy time and will enable visitors to see the filtered and distilled product of all those studio powerhouses scattered across town. It aims to give an overview of some of London’s best talent, which might not otherwise get airtime.
The criteria for the show is simple: exhibiting artists must live and work in London, and must not be represented by a gallery either in the UK or abroad. It’s worth clarifying that this does not mean that these artists have not exhibited before. Most of them have very active calendars participating in countless group shows and even sometimes solo shows, most will have exhibited abroad or been awarded residencies, many will be in public or private collections, and some may actually be on display across town at The Future Can Wait or Saatchi’s New Sensations. This is not a show about underdogs; these artists are strong, talented and ambitious, and often their lack of representation is a choice rather than something to be remedied. Indeed, for many of these artists the desirability of gallery representation is questionable and many will have chosen to be their own agent, something this digital age makes entirely feasible.
So for those people dropping into London for the Frieze frenzy, VEGAS would like to invite you to the East End for a riotous and colourful display of London’s true home-grown talent. ALTER is an exhibition of what’s REALLY going on in London.