All posts tagged: Spring/Break

A Brief Look at NY Art Fairs : Spring/Break & Scope

A Brief Look at NY Art Fairs : Spring/Break & Scope

Did you have a chance to hit some of the shows during New York’s Amory Week? Part blessing and curse, New York has this pre-Spring ritual of organized galleries tucked into little booths in far-flung neo-convention center architectural spaces that offer an onslaught of fascinating new ideas and artists who inspire you and give you a glimpse of the future. Alternately the works on display can sadden you with much derivative mediocrity scattered around and small chartreuse plumes of resentful dealers who clearly are not “people” people alternately ignoring or staring at you.

Before we headed to Berlin for a show we had time to made a mad dash through Scope and The Spring Break Art Show. Here are a few things that caught our eye.


“A Door Within a Door” – Grace Villamil curated by Coming Soon and Katya Braxton. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Spring/Break Art Show, now in its 4th year, is perhaps a current favorite because it creates space for exploring and considering. A 40 curator-driven art fair that featured 150+ artists on display in the re-purposed Moynihan Station (the enormous and grand old main post office), the panoply of concepts tweaked and piqued electrodes in the brain with plays on perception – one of the best outcomes you can hope for with contemporary art. Perhaps because the space is free for the curator, the ideas are similarly liberated.


Bazaar Teens curated by Dustin Yellin. 10K of donated cash was shredded to make paintings. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And everyone is welcomed – collectors, artists, galleries, critics, scene junkies. TRANSACTION was the theme in the Skylight wing that looked like it hadn’t been used for about 20 years. There was a faint fear of Asbestos swirling around our heads while we appreciated the institutional decay of the interiors, laying a background for the fairs multiple installations. Somehow the possibilities for the curators to transform the space were endless, and one wasn’t completely sure when the decay of the interior was intentional or residual…but that was part of the fun.

What separates this fair from the rest of the pack is that the art here is not presented as an unattainable commodity, rather for the most part it is an installation/performance art show where you roam through custom fashioned rooms on both sides of long hallways of deadened fluorescent lights and ceiling leaks. Maybe its because we see a lot of urban art in detritus and abandoned buildings, but this was fun. And yes some of the art was amazing. Good to see artists are still experimenting and taking risks and can make site-specific installations that are alive and provocative.


Bazaar Teens curated by Dustin Yellin. 10K of donated cash was shredded to make paintings. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Bazaar Teens curated by Dustin Yellin. 10K of donated cash was shredded to make paintings. Shredded money taken from the donations box. Some prankster put some of the brochures in there for color we suppose… (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rita Ikonen curated by Yulia Topchiy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Margaret Bowland curated by Tess Sol Schwab. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Christine Sciulli video projection on fog was curated by Ambre. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Cate Giordano curated by Eve Sussman and Simon Lee. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Anne Nowak curated by Cassandra M Johnson. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Grace Villamil curated by Coming Soon and Katya Braxton. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Grace Villamil curated by Coming Soon and Katya Braxton. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fall On Your Sword Collective. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mark Samsonovich (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mark Samsonovich (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mark Samsonovich and friends in the wild on the streets of NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Over at Scope the story was much different. In their press release and on their site they were heralding a “progressive format” in a new location. The latter was true. It was a new location. The former didn’t materialize and we were hard pressed to find what was progressive or new about it. There were still the temporary partitions and rented booths and while some of the spaces did run into each other it wasn’t with any particular goal for a collaborative spirit or some such idealist notion. If anything, Scope was chaotic with visitors and exhibitors remarking about not having enough time to set up when the doors open at 2:00 pm for the VIP and press, giving a frustrated aura of discord that may have influenced our perception.

Many galleries were still hanging works and adding price and information tags on the walls when we were there. But we know how it is when your dinner party guest arrives at 7 on the dot and you haven’t gotten dressed- you may want them to go out for a cocktail and then return.

Additionally, and unfortunately, Scope more than any of the other show seems to incorporate more derivative and secondary market works than their competitors. Street Art/Urban Art is increasingly hot so it appeared at many more galleries this year but without much curatorial consideration. The fair also including works we have already seen elsewhere, so it was hard to get too excited about that.  But there were definitely some gems in there as well.  Here are some shots of things we saw:


Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Isaac Cordal (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Miss Van (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Nathan Vincent (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swampy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Swoon (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Amanda Marie (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Michael Mut. Click HERE to learn more about this artist and Still Counting Project. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Stikki Peaches (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Li-Hill (photo © Jaime Rojo)


XO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Rubin415 (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jaybo Monk (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Vinz (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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