It looks like spring in New York City is one artsy season. Besides all the on-going (permanent) collections of the artists from New York City and the rest of the world featured at the galleries across the city and small exhibits popping up here and there, there are, at least, five large international art shows that take place in New York City in Spring: The Affordable Art Fair, International ArtExpo, The Armory Show, Art Directors Club and The SCOPE Art Show.
I told you about all of them, except for PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, which eight New York edition took place last month on May 12th, 2013.
PULSE Contemporary Art Fair is a very well art fair among both local and international dealers and collectors, as well as among the general public. It offers a tightly curated group of exhibitions in a very diverse media and specialized performances and interactive work from emerging to established artists.
On the opening day of the fair alone, more than 1,200 art lovers passed through the doors of The Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, and by the end of the day, the opening day attendance surpassed the previous year’s attendance by 60%. Each year it becomes more publicized and known to the public and the artists get more exposure to both local and international customers.
What’s great about all of the art shows mentioned above – they are not just for the serious collectors and dealers, I’ve been seeing more and more people coming to the art shows as to an art exhibition, only better – these ones gather the best of the best artists from around the world, educating us about the new artists and letting us not to forget about the existing artists. It’s like shopping in the mall – one stop for all – only for the art.
I’ve casually interviewed a few people in attendance at the art shows to see what their main purpose of the visit to the art show was and most of them said that they came just to see art, because they are big appreciators of the art, especially the modern art. Many of them said that they look forward to these international art shows and try to come every year, because while the bigger art institutions like Guggenheim Museum usually feature a few artists, the art shows consists of hundreds of the artists, which, if it wasn’t for the art shows, they might not know about at all.
Most of these visitors are not even shopping for the art. However, many of them take business cards of the artists and galleries they like for a future reference if they’d, say, want to re-decorate an apartment and/or make a gift, and/or to inquire of any reprints that an artist could possibly do of his/her works. And many of the participating artists do make re-prints of their original works that they sell much cheaper. Take, for example, The Affordable Art Fair, one could buy the prints of the art works – the originals of which would usually go for $5,000-$60,000 – for just $100.
The word goes around about these art shows and the artists featured there. In this day and age, where everything is Instagram-ed, Facebook-ed and Twitted, the informal social media ‘publicity’ promotes both – the venue, the artists and/or individual art pieces. Having general public at such events is a very powerful word-of-mouth advertising and the event organizers and participants have been recognizing it, making those events more approachable and accessible for you and me. I know of myself and my friends that we do post photos of the art works we like on our social networks and we share it with our friends and family. I know for myself that if I go to an art show, I’d check-in on Foursquare, Twit a link and/or share a video on my Tumblr blog, and so do thousands of other people.
PULSE’s support of emerging artists provided visitors with daring new discoveries, while enabling exhibitors to broaden their artists’ exposure to an international clientele. The Philadelphia-based The West Collection showcased fourteen local artists, noting particular interest in Kim Alsbrooks’ White Trash Family portraits, Tim Portlock’scomputer generated prints, and Drew Leshko’s architecturally structured sculptures of his Philadelphia neighborhood.
This spirit ran particularly strong through IMPULSE – the section dedicated to solo artist exhibitions – as noteworthy collectors discovered and acquired the works of emerging artists. Christine Flynns’ dreamlike, mixed-media beach photographs at FitzRoy Knox (New York) and Danielle Nelson Mourning’s movie-still inspired photographs at Taylor De Cordoba (Los Angeles) stimulated conversation and sales. Also in IMPULSE, Aicon Gallery (New York) reported several sales of large-scale sculptural works by Adeela Suleman, m2a (Dresden) reported sales of large paintings by Benjamin Dittrich, and Carroll and Sons (Boston) sold a large-scale cut-paper collage by Ambreen Butt.
The highlight of IMPULSE, however, was the PULSE Prize, awarded to Dutch artistMarjolijn De Wit at OTTO ZOO (Milan) by the PULSE New York 2013 jury, which included Lowery Stokes Sims, curator at the Museum of Art and Design; Sue Stoffel, collector and arts patron; and Hrag Vartanian, editor of Hyperallergic,
Three ongoing performances at the fair kept the energy lively, with Lisa Lozano and Tara Lopez performing We Couldn’t Remember What We Came To Forget, a fantasy vacation in the midst of the art fair frenzy; Tim Youd’s Typing Tropic (presented byCoagula Curatorial, Los Angeles); and Franco Mondini-Ruiz (Creative Capital, New York) all attracting crowds who were eager to be a part of the artistic performances. Visitors participated in role-play while vacationing with Lozano and Lopez who entertained guests with stories of their imagined, highly sterilized, and sponsored all-inclusive vacation. The sound of typewriter keys echoed throughout the main fair as Tim Youd diligently retyped – on one sheet of paper – Henry Miller’s sexually charged masterpiece Tropic of Capricorn while reciting the prose aloud. The highly energetic and irreverent Franco Mondini-Ruiz sold 400 of his works to 165 people through the course of the fair.
And, of course, the sales were made, which is as important as receiving a wide attention. Tokyo Gallery + BTAP (Tokyo) sold all of the miniature folklore-based sculptures by Miki Taira to several art advisors and other collectors. ADAMSON GALLERY (Washington) sold works by Kim Keever and Robert Longo, as well as a $65,000 photograph by Adam Fuss and a large portfolio of archival pigment prints by Not Vital; Patrick Heide Contemporary Art (London) sold multiple works by Thomas Müller, Hans Kotter, Pius Fox, and Károly Keserü; MARC STRAUS (New York) sold paintings on deer hide and a mixed media punching bag by acclaimed Native American artist Jeffrey Gibson. Frank Gerritz was in high demand at Pablo’s Birthday (New York), selling a record six works, while a Henrik Eiben mixed media work brought over $10,000 and Eckart Hahn, an estimated $16,000. Gallery Joe (Philadelphia), had sold out and re-hung the booth twice over with their exquisite presentation of works on paper by various artists, while Von Lintel Gallery (New York) noted a large Canan Toloncanvas sale upwards of $80,000, and Black & White Gallery/Project Space (Brooklyn) sold several major works by Alicia Ross. International exhibitors also fared well, with NIEVES FERNANDEZ selling works by Danica Phelps; The Fine Art Society Contemporary (London) reporting multiple sales of a newly released portrait of Kate Moss by Chris Levine, as well as works by Rob and Nick Carter; HABANA (Havana) sold a delicate work made of sand by Lisett Castillo, and a bronze cast of hands spelling democracia in sign language by Yoan Capote; and Michael Hoppen Contemporary sold works never before shown in New York, by Japanese artist Sohei Nishino.
As recorded and reported by PULSE organizers.
So, when someone says that no one buys art anymore, you can tell them otherwise. The artists-to-be – the art students – should be encouraged, rather than discouraged by the perspective of a professional career in the arts. Art was, is and will be always sold and there’s a future for the artists in all kinds of medium. All the artists need to do is to keep surprising us, keep inventing, and keep self-promoting and reaching out to both the art collectors and the general public.
To see more art pieces from the NYC’s PULSE art fair and the video installations, click here.
Meanwhile as you are waiting for PULSE Contemporary Art Fair to come back to NYC next year, start looking forward to its MIAMI edition, PULSE MIAMI, which will be held on December 5-8th, 2013 at The Ice Palace Studios.
For additional information, applications, and tickets, please visit: www.pulse-art.com.
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