From the category archives:

Art Fair

Fresh New Digs for Aging Independent

by Chris Green on March 4, 2016
Thumbnail image for Fresh New Digs for Aging Independent

The Independent art fair is apparently all grown up and ready to cement its place of privilege in a new Tribeca location. This year’s event space, Spring Studios, is better known for exclusive fashion and Tribeca Film Festival events, but the organizers believe it is just right for a fair that now considers itself to be mature and ambitious. Aging is perhaps a more appropriate characterization here—this year, the formerly new-blood establishment of the Independent seems as though it is content to coast into retirement.

Read the full article →

The Armory Show: Where All The Cowboys Have Gone

by Michael Anthony Farley and Molly Rhinestones on March 4, 2016
Thumbnail image for The Armory Show: Where All The Cowboys Have Gone

Long before Richard Prince was screencapping Instagram, he rode an appropriated image of a cowboy to fame. At The Armory Show, it seems other artists are attempting the same. Cowboys are everywhere. We picked out some noteworthy examples, after the jump.

Read the full article →

We Went to The Armory Show: HOW TO SPEND IT

by Michael Anthony Farley and Molly Rhinestones on March 4, 2016
Thumbnail image for We Went to The Armory Show: HOW TO SPEND IT

Michael: Every time I go to a fair I’ve been told is going to suck, I’m pleasantly surprised by the first few works I see and actually like that are somewhat engaging. Then, usually within an hour of arrival, fair fatigue sets in and I want anything to shatter the stifling boredom.
Molly: I’m honestly devastated I didn’t know that the “YOUR MOM” balloons were free for me to take.

Read the full article →

The Armory: The Forgettable Fair

by Paddy Johnson on March 3, 2016

It’s hard to imagine a more art boring fair than this year’s Armory. Looking back at yesterday’s photos there’s virtually nothing to say about any of it. The fair is filled with generic art market standards: neon, monochromes, mirrors. If you’re looking for an art genre, the boilerplate version of it is on view here. At least last year’s iteration was bad enough to warrant ridicule. This one will be instantly forgotten.

Read the full article →

SPRING/BREAK: Too Many Cooks in the Post Office

by Chris Green on March 3, 2016
Thumbnail image for SPRING/BREAK: Too Many Cooks in the Post Office

When the curator becomes the primary product, nobody wins. With 800 artists to 100 curators, the flashiest booths naturally win out at SPRING/BREAK. We picked a handful of booths which deserve a longer look.

Read the full article →

The Art F City Survival Guide to the 2016 Armory Week Fairs

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on February 29, 2016
Thumbnail image for The Art F City Survival Guide to the 2016 Armory Week Fairs

Do you like art fairs? If yes, you are in luck! If not, get the hell out of New York City this week. Art fairs are multiplying like Gremlins, and mutating as they spawn. We now have specific art fairs for everything: paper, video art, solo projects, Asian art, curator-driven booths, independent artists, dykes, shiny things, boring shows… there’s something for everyone.

Read the full article →

On Zona MACO: How to Excel at Being an Average Art Fair

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 11, 2016
Thumbnail image for On Zona MACO: How to Excel at Being an Average Art Fair

Last week, I visited Mexico City’s Zona MACO (México Arte Contemporaneo), Latin America’s largest art fair. This was on the heels of our visit to Material, a satellite fair that impressed Paddy and me beyond our expectations. Walking into MACO felt just like visiting the most art fair-y of art fairs by comparison—which is to say, the immediate experience was predictable. There were long convention center lines, groups of “fresas” queuing up to take selfies in reflective sculptures, and familiar overexposed blue-chip names such as Alex Katz and Richard Prince. (“Fresas” is Mexican slang for “yuppies”, literally translating to “strawberries”.) MACO devoted a good chunk of floor space to design wares—from furniture to high-end sunglasses. I wasn’t immediately inspired to lend the event much thought beyond snapping some photos. With a few days of reflection, I realize Zona MACO is noteworthy for its extremes. And that’s not just the quality or quantity of blatantly commercial crap. For all the lackluster blue chip staples on the floor, I also saw an impressive amount of well-curated project booths that smartly positioned emerging artists and galleries in dialogue with the establishment. These two poles served a useful purpose: they lay bare how contemporary art fairs function. Zona MACO is the best model I can think of to demonstrate how for-profit fairs must work to remain both commercially viable and discursively relevant. For better or for worse, MACO excels at both.

Read the full article →

Material Art Fair: The Most Important Art Event of the Year for Artists

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on February 5, 2016
Thumbnail image for Material Art Fair: The Most Important Art Event of the Year for Artists

For years we’ve sung the praises of NADA, an artist-centric fair that celebrates and works to commodify the strange, the creative and the wonder. In 2015, though, we began to question the model. Was NADA a bit stale compared to recent years? Was ARTIST RUN, a new fair that celebrates the DIY artist, closer to our interests?

These questions came up a lot yesterday at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City, which AFC staff writer Michael Anthony Farley described as a “great compromise between ARTIST RUN and NADA. Farley was referring to the structure of the fair, which invited more dealers than artists to participate, but retained the artistic energy and life essential to new art by keeping the booth prices low. It’s a great fair.

I agree the sentiment, but would put it a little differently: Material tells us that NADA can easily be replicated.

Read the full article →

FOX News Attempted to Troll Me at ABMB

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 11, 2015
Thumbnail image for FOX News Attempted to Troll Me at ABMB

Last week, FOX News personality Jesse Watters visited Art Basel Miami Beach to troll the art world. The segment aired last night, after heavy redaction and blooper clips being used as filler. This is how I remember our conversation transpiring.

Read the full article →