In London: At the Frieze Art Fair

October 21 2014

I arrived in London early Saturday morning and ran over to catch the wonderful zoo that is Frieze London. This year was a different mix of players, with some interesting galleries from places like Mumbai and Sao Paolo. Trends included conceptual installation art, performance art, lots of images with applied language, and a number of galleries from different countries presenting work from the same select group of German photographers.

Among my favorites was Jonathas de Andrade’s photographic installation entitled, “Looking for Jesus,” where he photographed a selection of faces of men from Amman, who look more like the artist, and who might look more like a non-Westernized face of Jesus.

He says, “Where I came from, Jesus is a blond man with blue eyes, Wandering around the river of Jordan, I realized that he could hardly have looked like that. Silent, observant, dark-skinned, fragile, full of vitality, what could be the nature of this young man?” Very thought-provoking to photograph people from a culture where the art never contains a physical image of the Prophet. Other great pieces included Takashi Murakami’s “Cosmic Truth,” Alex Prager’s “Untitled (Parts 1), which is a provocative use of the photographic medium and vocabulary, and a lyrical group of photograms from Thomas Ruff.

All in all, there were few moments where my heart beat fast as there have been at other Frieze fairs, but it was a terrific immersion in the crazy business of art these days.

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