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art fair

Slideshow: Zona MACO, The Art Fair Where Commerce and Politics Make Strange Bedfellows

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 9, 2017
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Last year, I remarked that Zona MACO excels at being an “average” art fair.

I stand by that opinion this year, with the clarification that it feels a bit like the average of many art fairs: a bit of NADA, a big dollop of Design Miami, a dose of Basel, and flavors of Frieze. That makes sense, as it’s by far Latin America’s largest and most important art fair—many of the curated identities of fairs in hyper-saturated US markets come from necessity of branding when there’s competition.

And like I said last year, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Though this year, due to some floor plan rearrangements and somewhat less cohesive booths, the curated sections Zona MACO Sur and Nuevas Propuestas felt a bit underwhelming. That might also owe to (what seemed like) an increase in advertisers’ kiosks and design, publication, and food vendors, comparatively.

The good news: the quality of work in the General Section improved tremendously. Sure, there were many repeat, predictable artist, but the recent political turns in both Mexico and the United States haven’t gone unnoticed in the art world, thankfully. Scattered among the rows of polite abstraction, there was plenty of outright political work, particularly when compared to the December fairs in Miami.

Below, a sampling of the what’s on view, beginning with some of the more overtly political works.

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Top Trends at Frieze London, According to Instagram

by Michael Anthony Farley on October 5, 2016
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We’re not in London for the 14th Frieze art fair, which opens to the public tomorrow. But VIP preview guests have already thoroughly documented the fair via social media. Just what trends are catching the eyes of these discerning Instagrammers? Anything and everything pink, installations that harken back to the days before Brick Lane felt like a high-end high street, genitals (obviously), shelving (less obviously), and one very popular living blow-up-doll.

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The Bronx’s “No Commission” Art Fair: Promising? Yes, but Not for Local Artists and Residents

by Elliott Brown Jr on August 17, 2016
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The story of art’s role in gentrifying urban neighborhoods is not new. But plant an art fair in the Bronx—one of the more recent instances of skyrocketing real-estate—and throw in the involvement of big-name sponsors and developers, and you have the makings of an event that won’t please everyone. That isn’t to say that locals were not involved with “No Commission NY: Art Performs,” a four-day art fair hosted at a former piano factory in the South Bronx; the art fair was aided by the vision of a culturally respected Bronx native, Swizz Beatz, a rapper, music producer, art collector, and recently appointed Chief Creative for Culture at Bacardi Limited.

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Who Wore it Better? ABMB Edition

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 5, 2015
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Inevitably, some people pack the same looks for Miami.

Remember NADA’s legendary pool parties at the Deauville? There always seemed to be at least two art-bros who showed up in the same “statement” bathing suit from American Apparel. But it’s usually more awkward when gallerists inadvertently dress their booths too similarly.

Below, we take a look at accidental twinsies and judge who wore it better:

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NADA Disappoints Again

by Paddy Johnson on December 4, 2015
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I’ve been thinking a lot about AFC writer Michael Anthony Farley’s post on NADA yesterday. It’s a great summary of NADA highlights and assessment of the fair’s strengths this year. I felt a little disappointed by the fair, though, and I’ve been depressed about it most of it day. Aside from the obvious problems such as a needless maze-like layout and a lack of adventurous auxiliary programming, they continue to peddle a kind of disingenuous kind of class posturing I find increasingly grating.

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SLIDESHOW: UNTITLED’s Strongest Showing Yet

by Paddy Johnson on December 4, 2015
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UNTITLED. organizers should be giving themselves a big pat on the back. Now its fourth year, the fair is clearly its strongest iteration yet. Part of this is just natural maturing of exhibitors over the course of the last few years—Asya Geisberg, SITE LAB, and Microscope are just three examples of programs that have consistently improved. But the fair’s also done a good job picking up strong new exhibitors, perhaps most notably this year, the Hole and Postmasters.

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Your Guide to the NEWD Art Show

by Corinna Kirsch on June 3, 2015
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We’re giving the NEWD Art Show its own events posting because it just has so much going on. And lo, the fair looks darn good.

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NEWD Art Fair Returns to Bushwick

by Corinna Kirsch on May 19, 2015
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Art fairs: they’ve taken over the art world’s calendars. Because they’re so commonplace, it’s hard to imagine getting excited over another one happening in New York. But the NEWD Art Show is doing something different from the more gallery-centric events: it’s a fair that’s fair to artists.

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