I was not bowled over by either art fair this year so I am either quite jaded or the fairs were catering to the most common denominator (and who could blame them with each fair costing galleries upwards of $10-$15,000?) but I always enjoy meeting galleries outside of Los Angeles and other countries given any opportunity. Two artists stood out at art la Contemporary for me and I know we will see a lot more of them on the International art stage.
The first artist that was insanely crazy good, pictured above is Farley Aguilar represented by Spinello Projects in Miami.
This was the first but not the last I saw referencing the style of pop artist Red Grooms and a nod to Francis Bacon as well who of course famously referenced Valesquez. Do I detect a trend here?
Velasquez and Francis Bacon's Pope Sixtus V in a side by side comparison
Farley Aguilar above that
Keep an eye on both.
First Prize Best exhibition:
Letters From Los Angeles: TEXT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA curated by Jack Rutberg
If I left having seen only one booth yesterday this would have been it. This show was so comprehensive including works by LA royalty Raymond Pettibon, Ed Ruscha, etc. but it was a whose who of contemporary art in LA using text as the theme woven throughout. I loved the jewel like collaged scenes by Alexis Smith and paintings by Lita Albuquerque. Both artist's works were beautifully crafted and stunning art objects. Lita Albuquerque's gold leaf and blue pigment artworks were maybe my favorite. They leaped off the wall and glowed under the harsh LA Convention Center lights.
The rest of the show could almost be summed up as saying Damien Hirst was here which is what the art market is demanding from the looks of all the galleries displaying his editioned work front and foremost. Skulls and butterflies and dots oh my!
Again, I enjoyed seeing galleries from Korea (a strong presence at the fair, )China and Ireland as well.