Charlotte Appleyard writes (do we detect a whiff of pleasure?) in the Huffington Post about the mood at Frieze.
One London based gallerist anxiously told me “things are fine” before flipping out over the fact that her biggest clients had not received the VIP early entry passes. A consultant who works with the larger corporate sponsors sounded concerned. She’s seen a big fall off in clients and the cancellation of several projects; [ . . . ]
With every city starting its own biennale or fair the feeling is that new work has become a bespoke offering – tailored for the next spectacle. It’s the result of the complacency born of the fat years when artists came to believe the market was bigger than the imagination. In London galleries became the new Starbucks, a new branch opening every five minutes. Works by young artists flew off walls for huge sums of money. Customers were not just buying art, they were buying onto the scene.
By 4pm the Frieze fair was starting to feel busy, gallerinas (the terrifyingly beautiful girls that sit at the front desks) stalked the aisles in varying degrees of Prada as the press poured in. Vast crates of champagne are wheeled through the fair — each gallery booth presented with a shiny silver bucket and their own bottle. The corks popped. In celebration? Or did the London artocracy just need a stiff drink to steel themselves for the climb down the cliff face called Depression?
Frieze Art Fair: The Agony and the Ecstasy (The Huffington Post)