It was only as I marched on Liberty, having drained my pricey Avalon latte, striding between Holy Mary, Mother of God and the Mars Society booths in nonprofit row, that I realized how happy I was. Excited, joyful, freed up! No matter how jaded I become, no matter the various life pressures, this kind of thing always feels like a reward, an unwieldy present to be opened. There's always treasure, hiding below the layers of wine slushies, lawn ornaments and neon-colored Warholalikes. You may maintain your ideas of where the best art is and dismiss all other regions (the fair is actually four fairs glommed together), but for treasure hunting, one must be open and far-reaching. Far-walking.
And here I was, walking along to meet Compatriot (who I haven't mentioned in forever, but who is the perfect Art Fair fellow attendee -- we travel well, we overhear well, we investigate and muse). And here, suddenly, was an old friend from a former life, exclaiming in my path! She can't understand people who hate this*, she arrived at 7 AM**, parked just like that, dwelled over an hour long breakfast at Afternoon Delight and now at 11, she felt done for the day. We were pleased with ourselves and exchanged brief chatter about unknown children (my toddler, her grandchild, about the same age), and happily parted ways. Mildly discombobulating, but a fine start to (my experience of) the fair, nevertheless.
Back home, it was interesting to see a wealth of journalistic photography on her website -- Romania, small town America, portraiture. All this documentation of "moments in time" exist in stark contrast to the timeless, sleek visuals of her plant photography. On Day Two, I asked her how about the shift. She raised her eyebrows, half-shrugged: "Ehhh? What happened, I turned 50. I don't know." Also on day two, the fair jurors came around with a foam-core sign about her winning an Excellence Award. She waved it at the artist next door, "See? I wasn't lying." She returns inside the booth: "I exclaimed a lot when I heard they were awarding me, everyone around here probably heard it."
here plus rich instagram.
|"Putting Out Fires"|
Outcalt, a first timer to the show, also won an Excellence award.
I like how "Gwendolyn" calls up Love & Rockets characters and Ghost World. I'm also a sucker for a nice herringbone pattern. Who's Gwendolyn?
In my alternate, wealthy life, I'd send my personal shopper to Booth B2023 to fetch glittering, mesmerizing mosaics from the Canadian transplant with the best name your mouth has spoken in a long time. Check out Giampietro Filippetti's work here. If you aren't going to the art fair, the photos are probably the best you'll see, though they fall woefully short, since you can not walk back and forth, back and forth, to watch the tiles glitter in the light. Just shy of magical.
*I can, I used to work retail in its midst.
**the fair opens at 10AM
***Not redeemable for cash, not translateable to other real-world usage. But you know, gold star.