Stas Orlovski, Figures, 2012
ink, charcoal, gesso and xerox transfer on paper
68 x 31 inches
Courtesy of Mixed Greens, at Volta NYC (2013)
Conceptually, the art fairs make sense. Perceptually, they don't. Crammed into white cubicles or splayed out among funky furnishings, the art-ness of most pieces seems diminished and disrespected. "Fair" (as in carnivalesque) is indeed the overriding spirit. "Fair" (as in justice) - forgetaboutit. Row upon row of art-filled cubbyholes demand attention that is in short supply. It's depressing - even more so when two or three gallerini huddle over their laptops in an empty exhibition. It must feel degrading to watch various clutches of art glitterati gravitate to other white cubes without so much as a frozen smile directed your way. My heart goes out to these vigilant gnomes (they all look alike to me) stranded like misfits at a party run by the "popular" crowd.
Does the art suffer too? Well, maybe not. Most of the art on view aids and abets today's frivolous banality - clever ideas with nothing really interesting to say. Unfortunately, some earnest artists unwittingly cheapen their efforts amid the boring din.
Better to savor the art experience in individual galleries, which project a mastery of their own domains. Aesthetically calculated (really elegant stores), galleries protect their subjects (both the artists and the art).
Art fairs, on the other hand, feed these vassals to the lions.
For a quick over-view of the Art Fairs, free of charge, please visit the Blouin Artinfo's website. Then get off your duff and sample nature. Today feels like the first day of spring!
Beth New York
aka. Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange