October 18, 2012

Frieze London 2012

Oly Barnsley

If graffiti is art, then what exactly is it when someone scrawls on a multi-million pound Rothko in front of onlookers at the Tate Modern..? Dah-ling, it is the onset of London's most important art week of course. This defacing kicked off debate amongst the demi-monde at Frieze, Frieze Masters, and PAD London.

Feathers were flying, literally, when scantily clad samba dancers shimmied and shook the unsuspecting gallery goers into a dither at the Philips de Pury launch of "Contemporary Art in Brazil." But what's a little nipple to a true art lover?

Sporting their own "plumage" in the form fur gillets, Celine "Boston" bags, and power specs, the collectors, curators and just "connected curious" took Regent's Park by storm for the VIP opening Preview. Spotted taking the first looks were rock-star artists Anish Kapoor and Tracy Emin; über-architecht Zaha Hadid; designers Peter Pilotto, Christopher Kane, and Raf Simons; a princess or two; and a even a few footballers who want into the art scene.

But our favorite event, hands down, all week was an entrancing performance by artist Theaster Gates and his band The Black Monks. Even the most jaded art slaves found it to be the highlight of the week! At London's legendary jazz club Ronnie Scotts, some of the most talented jazz musicians unknowingly shared the room with artists like Marc Quinn and Glenn Ligon who were enraptured by the spiritual sets about black America.  "I don't know if this is blues, gospel, jazz, or soul," whispered the editor of a prominent art journal, "but it made the trip from New York worth it." —Dorian May


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