Brace Yourselves: Saatchi Art Is Bringing The Other Art Fair To Brooklyn

by Michael Anthony Farley on May 10, 2017 Art Fair + Newswire

Brooklyn Expo Center

Can New York handle any more art fairs? No sooner had we finished discussing the scheduling conflicts and competition between various fairs and weeks than we hear yet another one is descending upon the city.

Saatchi Art is launching a Brooklyn edition of The Other Art Fair, the online gallery’s multi-national event that launched in London in 2011. TOAF will take over Greenpoint’s Brooklyn Expo Center from June 1st through 4th. It’s not quite the standard art fair model, however.

Saatchi Art will present the work of 100 artists (alongside programming including installations and talks) without gallerists or dealers. It’s a totally different ballgame than the dealer/artist cost-sharing debacle Paddy discussed last week. Time will tell if this model results in a more accessible fair (the organizers claim prices start as low as $75  for works) or an overhung bedlam suffering from lack of curatorial oversight. So far there aren’t any familiar names on the exhibitor list, so it could go either way. It’s also worth noting that Saatchi Art is no longer affiliated with the Saatchi Gallery or Charles Saatchi himself—the online art marketplace sold to Demand Media in 2014.

And despite it’s international pedigree, the organizers are looking to keep this iteration of the fair Brooklyn-centric. That apparently means custom stick-n-poke tattoos on-site by Rosa Bluestone Perr, local brews and coffee, and of course pizza. The organizers have also tapped 6BASE founder and director Marina Gluckman to curate a selection of Brooklyn artists.

The rest of the selection committee responsible for picking artists includes Rebecca Wilson (Chief Curator at Saatchi Art), Solana Chehtman (Associate Director of Public Engagement at Friends of the High Line), Elizabeth Ferrer (Vice President, Contemporary Art at BRIC), Rachel Miller (Contributing Editor for Brooklyn Magazine), Peter MacGill (President of Pace/MacGill Gallery) and Matthew Nichols (Associate Professor at Christie’s Education in New York).

That’s a promising list of curatorial firepower. Let’s hope the fair delivers. Either way, it looks like we’ll be squeezing one more weekend into the fair circuit, this time off the G train.

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