Like the collectors and art-world professionals before them, Instagrammers fled to Randall’s Island this weekend to document this year’s Frieze fair. You saw them fly by your feed, and if you raised an eyebrow, you may not be alone. Here’s a closer look at some of the most popular ‘grams from the show.
By Harry Feldman
After impersonating a journalist to cover the 2005 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (yes, that’s correct), Milanese artist Paola Pivi permanently moved to the race’s birthplace: Anchorage, Alaska. An animal lover (and self-proclaimed carnivore), Pivi’s realistic foam and turkey feather polar bear sculptures are pleasantly jarring. Coming off of a show at the New York outpost of Emmanuel Perrotin, the gallerist who was instrumental in launching Hirst’s and Murakami’s career, this surely won’t be the last we hear of Pivi.
Continuing his series New Portraits, which debuted at the uptown Gagosian this past fall, veteran artist Richard Prince created a new set of canvas-printed Instagram screen grabs for the gallery’s booth. This newest installment includes a slew of selfies, “mirror pics,” and other modern-age portraiture sourced from the app. Often appropriating his work directly from print or digital media, Prince frequently falls victim to accusations regarding authenticity. Whether you think his printed Instagrams are creative repurposing or uninspired plagiarism, the artist's relevance has never felt more spot on—and especially meta considering how often they were photographed.
After being handpicked by High Line art director Cecilia Alemani as one of six artists to present in the curated Frieze Projects, Korakrit Arunanondchai sourced inspiration from his past. Thinking of his experience at last year’s Frieze, the young Thai artist crafted a series of massage chairs placed strategically around the fair, clad in light-wash denim and covered in paint. The works have the aesthetic of a serious abstract work, with the functionality of a lighthearted interactive installation. An immersive experience for the user and a spectacle for the passing fairgoers, the chairs were playful fan favorites.
When Jerry Saltz, art critic for New York and irreverent social media personality, posts a photo from an art fair, it gets attention. In this pic snapped at Sean Kelly’s booth, Saltz caught one woman’s inventive use of Jose Dávila’s installation of mirrors. A trained architect, Dávila’s work plays on their spacial surroundings. Although it’s likely that the artist wasn’t intending for the work to take on this function, we salute both the fairgoer for her boldness and Saltz for capturing this moment.
British artist Ryan Gander’s site-specific work caught the eye of magazine and art-world celebrity Derek Blasberg. With a practice that ranges from sculpture, photography, painting, film, and even the printed word, Gander has said that he finds it selfish for artists to only work in one medium. A critic of the art market, Gander's site-specific sculpture isn't easily sold or installed in a collectors home. We give props to the artist for not falling into the pressures of the booming industry.