Magazine article Art Monthly

A Walk in the Park

Magazine article Art Monthly

A Walk in the Park

Article excerpt

An upside down pair of outsize denim jeans clad two branches of a tree where they split from the main trunk; snow-white, jumbo-sized bunny rabbits grazed nearby while elsewhere a giant bronze dandelion had had the temerity to push its way through the perfectly groomed grass of a royal park. It must be the Frieze Art Fair again, and so it was.

It used to be said that the English were only ever any good at organising ceremonial occasions: the Trooping of the Colour, the State Opening of Parliament, royal weddings and funerals. To this list must now be added: art fairs. Even the weather obliged. On the first day, the heavens opened and a torrential downpour threatened to wash away the temporary structure erected in the park but then, as if by magic, the thunder rolled back, the sky cleared and the sun shone down and continued to shine over the rest of the week. Visitors needn't have worried, however; the organisers had erected a raised walkway that ensured that once you had entered the precincts of the art fair proper, your feet literally did not touch the ground.

Like the eerie, gliding motion of the female alien, illicitly invited into the White House by a libidinous presidential aide in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks, those fortunate enough to be issued with a VIP ticket found their passage from entrance ramp to turnstile, through security and into the exhibition area miraculously smooth and unhindered. No embarrassing tussles over accreditation; no awkward moments waiting for your name to be checked against a list pinned to a millboard, just efficient, smiling staff waving you forward. Once inside the exhibition halls, all the big galleries were represented as well as the hot new spaces and emerging players in the globalised art world. Out of the 470 galleries that applied for admission only 152 were accepted. …

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