I started my art fair weekend at lunch on Friday with a little trip to Alexander Gray to buy one of the best hats ever. It's officially the only hat I own with a certificate of provenance. I just knew that I needed a little vibrant art thrust atop my head to carry me through the weekend.
I'm not one of those people who hate the art fairs. I'm not an artist so it's not depressing. I'm not a dealer so it's not stressful. I'm not Glenn Lowry so I don't have to worry about Lee Rosenbaum. I just want to see art. The more the better. Hell. I even enjoy hotel shows. Mostly because of moments like this:
Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, OH at Red Dot.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
After my stop I at Gray, I zipped uptown to check out the indy fair, Fountain. The first thing I saw there wasSteve Gagnon's pretty damn fabulous Around the World in a N.Y.C. Taxi. Taxi cab vantage points recorded on video were projected onto the inside of the windows of the cab while you watched from the outside. Cabbies talking about their work, the view from the back seat, out the side window. It was actually kind of touching. A still life of sorts. Plus, the piece certainly provided the best art story I've heard in a long time. When Gagnon was installing it, the taxi wouldn't fit through the door. They had to take it to a shop to have it disassembled. When they brought it back in pieces passersby who thought that somebody was jacking a cab called the police who promptly appeared with their guns pulled. (Let's face it. The best art stories almost always involve cops.) Once Gagnon showed them the card for the show and the owner's permit everything was cool. So cool that one of the officers was really into what Gagnon was doing and returned later that night to attend the opening.
I had actually heard about Fountain when I went to Nancy Radloff's opening at one of the participating galleries, Outrageous Look. Outrageous Look is one of my fave galleries in the city, let alone Williamsburg. They had an amazing Nacho Labas on the wall. It was interesting to see one of his pieces holding court on it's own without any of its siblings.
Next to OL was a gallery unfamiliar to me, McCaig-Welles. My favorite piece here was partly improvised. There was this long drip of, well, um, something red stretching down from the ceiling to where a painting was hanging. The artist decided to incorporate the long lines of the drip into his painting. I was well chuffed to see them hanging the Amy Hill paintings on pipes. Perfect.
Another fine discovery here was Glowlab. Almost too much goodness to believe. Bethany Bristow's photographs of her beautiful street interventions and the objects of intervention made of melted glass and feathers made me swoon. And speaking of which, Glowlab had some exquisite Swoon limited editions for sale. Another highlight was an artist who spliced herself into an American Idol tape and lived to tell the tale. The same artist offered up painted album covers and some cassettes with her singing songs that happened to be in her head. She then spray painted the cassettes in gold rendering them useless. Nothing like trumping the obsolete.
For dinner I met Roberta and Libby, Fallon & Rosof that is.. Always an entertaining time. Especially when they're both decompressing from a day at the fairs. God bless 'em.
Accidental bonus track: I went back to Fountain after dinner to attend the party. Um, yeah. I kind of forgot that the shindig wasn't actually in the same location as the show. Doh. I was able to get this pic through the window though.