Essay on Is Frieze Art Fair?

Essay on Is Frieze Art Fair?

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What is Frieze? Ask anyone that and they will normally all reply with “Oh I think we made one of them in School” or “It involved old newspapers and PVA glue didn’t it?”
Well yes, to anyone outside the art world Frieze would conjure up vivid images and memories of those awful first attempts at “art” you made while in Primary School age 5 using PVA glue, tissue paper, lots of newspapers oh and glitter, you can’t forget the glitter.
But to those in the art world, Frieze is an integral part of the Contemporary Art calendar; like a school reunion for the art world elite, journalists, dealers, collectors and artists to come together. Each year in October over 160 galleries and thousands of well-dressed fair-goers, including collectors, dealers, journalists, first-time buyers and artists from around the world descend upon London’s Regents Park for four days of double air kissing, instagramming, schmoozing and hopefully, cheque-writing.
Some would hesitate visiting Frieze Art Fair where money seems to be the golden ticket for privilege and validation; this is quite evident when a ticket for Frieze and Frieze Masters art fair is £50, which can only seen as affordable by those Frieze are looking to attract, perhaps it’s their way of keeping the riff-raff out of their world. Even the VIP cards had a hierarchy! Sadly my mint coloured VIP card didn’t gain me access to a private BMW car, shame really.
VIP’s line the front of the Frieze tent; in addition to the sea of Art Dealer Black uniforms were a few brave souls who chose to go for bold and bright ensembles. All standing around waiting for the craziness to begin, typing away on mobiles and discussing who they know in the art world. You can hear the security trying to tell general public i...


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...rged them. I’m not going to lie I just didn’t understand it or see the concept behind it, nor did I find it aesthetically pleasing instead it left me feeling cold, though clearly someone did on the grounds that the Stuart Shave/Modern Art stand won The Frieze Stand Prize of £10,000.
Finishing up the fair for me this year was Ken Kagami with his live drawings during the fair, dozens of people queuing for their few seconds with the Japanese artist. Fair-goers were invited to stand for a free portrait drawn by Ken, sitting there in a baseball cap adorned with a plush 3D penis and breasts, who imaginatively sketches the more discreet parts of one’s body. And while it’s not a masterpiece, nor is it claiming to be, instead It feels a little bit comparable to having your fortune told, only it’s someone crudely drawing the rather more personal parts of your anatomy instead.

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