One of the art fairs that coincided with Frieze two weeks ago was the Moniker Art fair aimed at fans of street art and graffiti. With street artists like Banksy whose works are now being auctioned at top auction houses like Sotheby's, Moniker art fair is riding high from the success of these artists who've penetrated the mainstream. Now on its fifth year, it has become a fixture during Frieze week. According to Fair Coordinator Tina Ziegler in her interview with 55tvc: 'Every year just seems to get bigger and bigger.'Looks like having a niche market is also the secret to its success and perhaps will continue to be the trend for many years, when you also consider 1:54 the Contemporary African Fair - another fair that was curated to target a very niche following. Read More »
If you want to get a really good insight into the burgeoning contemporary African art scene, I hope you had a chance to see 1:54. With more than 27 galleries participating, Somerset House was a great exhibition space to bring this show together as it provided the perfect and intimate setting to observe and study the diverse but very solid output of these African artists. Compared to the frenetic Frieze Art fair, 1:54 is much more subdued which gave viewers the time to absorb every piece of artwork.
Galleries had also been quite selective as they focussed on a few artists and a few pieces here and there rather than bombard the public with a whole bonanza. Read More »
Masterpiece London 2014 was a unique experience for a first-time visitor like me. Happened weeks ago but still very vivid as it featured all kinds of flashy and interesting artefacts and everything you can imagine - from fine arts, applied arts, decorative arts, jewels, watches even high-end vehicles! In some way, it was like walking through history but with a bit more of a upscale shopping mall experience. From Greek pottery, Roman mosaics, Renaissance paintings, collector items such as Da Vinci's signed books up to modern-day jewellery pieces, it's all breathtaking and all pretty, except that Masterpiece is really for those who have money to spare to add to their collection.Despite this great shortcoming from my end, that didn't really stop me from hunting down some art pieces that I haven't seen before. Here they are: (sorry I didn't take pictures of the vehicles!) Read More »
Saatchi gallery scores again with last week's START Art Fair. For me, Pangaea was interesting but Start Art Fair was exciting, especially as its a product of the highly successful Global EYE Programme which produced Korean Eye and the Indonesian Art Fair - both of which exhibited at Saatchi. Since 2009, the Global EYE Programme has been organising exhibitions about Asian contemporary art so I only expect that Asian artists will be well-represented in this show. I am a big fan of Asian art, and personally I feel that it has reached its zenith as more and more Asian artists are breaking new grounds in international art in the truest sense of the word, without resorting to hype, shock appeal which some of their European counterparts often do.
Judging from the great turnout during the private view Read More »
I've been up to date with Ai Weiwei's career since the time of his arrest years ago and have also been following him in Instagram. The only artist of his calibre to harness the powers of social media, his ingenious selfies on Instagram and daily snapshots of the people around him - including pictures of his very own son - all seem jovial and humorous and do not reflect his current situation as a political dissident. Yes, he's been posting pictures of his bike with flowers as a protest against the travel restrictions imposed on him by his government, but his real political/social activism continues not through social media but through his art.
It is then a privilege for me to see his works at the Lisson gallery knowing that he is able to produce his art under these circumstances. And while it is easy to be mesmerised about the legend than his actual produce, this exhibition reminds me of Read More »
Featuring bonafide and emerging artists from Africa and Latin America, Saatchi's exhibition Pangaea, which opened two months ago is a real attempt to consolidate eclectic art into one package and present it as ONE movement of sorts. The only drawback is that Africa and Latin America are just two super continents by themselves, both marred by different social and historical upheavals too complex and vast to summarise in one solid piece or international trend.
For me, having this kind of mini art-fairs, however, is a step in the right direction especially for those who are interested to see other than the usual fare of retrospectives and one-man exhibitions dominated by major artists. For one, it gives me a snack-able version of big art fairs with a million things to see to something more manageable. Read More »
Phyllida Barlow's new commission at the Duveen galleries at Tate Britain is large, messy, unstable and chaotic. But despite the disarray and all the cardboard, timber and rope hanging about on top of me, it gives a sense that it's all contained chaos. The premise of it all is to address space and how I and the rest of the visitors - who are as perplexed as I was - would interact and get our heads around what's hanging about us.
Where does one start? There is no chronological narrative in this pandemonium and there is nothing beautiful about this monumental sculpture. It's a miss-mash of bricolage, a factory of unfinished or abandoned collage slapped all together in one set by pure chance and without actual intent Read More »