Thursday, 13 October 2011

I have a confession to make. I've never been to the Frieze Art Fair. Or rather, I hadn't until yesterday. Now I'm under no illusions about The Way The World Works but nothing could quite prepare me for this. Art everywhere. Champagne popping. Stack 'em high, sell 'em higher. Eager gallerists, over 170 of them, peddling their wares to swarms of frighteningly glossy, international moneyed sorts. There was even a bloody great yacht in the middle of the space. 

Christian Jankowski, The Finest Art on Water, 2011. Photo by Linda Nylind. Courtesy of Linda Nylind/ Frieze

Okay so said yacht was in fact a specially commissioned  artwork by German artist Christian Jankowski but there was still something a tad distasteful about the whole thing. At a time when 12 million people are at risk of starvation in East Africa, when here in the UK we are seeing a massive rise in poverty set to continue for at least the next two years, the surreal world of the super wealthy collector drifts along regardless. There is plenty of beautiful and fascinating work on show this year at Frieze, well worth checking out, but for true spectacle, just take a look at the sheer commercialism of it - remarkable, if slightly nauseating, to behold. 

 Frieze Art Fair runs from 13 - 16 October in Regent's Park. 


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