I am almost recovered from a very busy weekend attending the 2016 Los Angeles Art Fairs. Phew! It was an inspiring, energizing week of art. Here is a brief recap of the last few days.
It is so exciting to see artists taking control of their careers. Art fairs like the Startup Art Fair and Fabrik Expo are important spaces for artists to gain exposure, build up a base of collectors who admire their work, communicate, educate and continue building an amazing artist-run community.
My first impressions of the Start Up Art Fair were that it was fresh and raw – like a tropical art vacation or a high school grad trip. It was an artists-celebrating-artists community-building experience.
The organizers were exceptional in their curation of artists and artist pairings in each space. The pairings of the artists was done with a lot of thought to concept, style, formal elements and more. The artists took their space and made it their own with unique, creative, intelligent installations. Each space felt comfortable and warm. The artists were engaged and welcoming. I felt I could sit on the couch with a glass of wine and have a great conversation about the work. The architecture of each individual space was different which made the event a very nice surprise.
This artist DIY society is a great example of how artists are breaking the mold. Art writers have talked about how art fairs are where the market is, but with LA Art Show being about the higher end market, DIY offshoots like Startup Art Fair are where the serious action is. Art cannot exist without the artist. Artists are fed up with the commodification of art.
After getting rockstar parking (my friends will tell you, I have this special gift) I walked into Fabrik Expo opening reception and felt right at home. This intimate fair was warm, friendly and inviting while keeping it real. The vibe was electric with a fantastic DJ spinning tunes and the immense interior urban warehouse space of Willow Studios. I immediately ran into Chris Davies, the powerhouse creator of Fabrik Media, who seemed relaxed and ready for an awesome night. It didn’t take long to meet up with many friends old and new. It was so great to see the diversity of artwork and experience.
Fabrik Expo is another fair where artists are held in higher esteem. The fair was not overwhelming. It was the perfect size to meander through slowly, take in the work and have great conversations with the artists.
It’s so important to see what’s going on in the galleries and what artists they are showing. It’s important to keep up on the art trends, whether overly conceptual, material based, or highly technical. Art LA Contemporary, while not as blingy as the LA Show, was more about the art market and collectors. There wasn’t any work that was overtly political, assertive or groundbreaking. I didn’t come across much work that blew me away. Other than a few galleries and artists who stood out through their use of process and materials, one space pretty much blended into the next and they were hard to tell apart.